Some of the recent discussion in the Formula 1 world has been the last-minute driver shifting at Force India and Marussia, respectively. Yet while all the rookies and returnees have been named (there are five rookies and the returning Adrian Sutil), here’s a look at the 2013 prospects for those gone from the 2012 grid.
STILL RACING ELSEWHERE
Bruno Senna: The Brazilian’s competitive drive to want to win races, rather than sit sidelined, has seen a shift back to sports cars after his three-year F1 career, most recently with Williams. Senna competed in an LMP1 class ORECA prototype in 2009, and made his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut. This year, he’ll be running the full FIA World Endurance Championship season in a GT class Aston Martin Vantage.
Timo Glock (right): The German’s departure from Marussia triggered the final seat shifting, first to Luiz Razia and now to Jules Bianchi. After a career spent in single-seaters since 2003, Glock moves to tin tops in the DTM, with BMW. Glock was a BMW Sauber F1 test driver at the same time as Sebastian Vettel, and lost out to Vettel in a one-off outing to replace the injured Robert Kubica at Indianapolis in 2007.
COULD STILL RACE
Kamui Kobayashi: F1’s “Mr. Excitement” for Sauber the last few years has tested a Ferrari F458 Italia for the Italian AF Corse team in the WEC, but the team has not made its driver lineup public. Countryman Kazuki Nakajima, also ex-F1, races in the WEC for the Toyota factory prototype team.
Pedro de la Rosa: It’s a long shot he’ll race in F1 once again, but the option is there as the 42-year-old has a new deal as a test driver for Ferrari. Then again, the Spaniard’s career has spanned parts of nine seasons, in three different stints (1999-2002, ’05-’06, ’10-’12), so there’s always a chance.
Narain Karthikeyan: Like his 2012 HRT teammate, Karthikeyan may turn up again and it could be in IndyCar. Karthikeyan has been linked by multiple media outlets to Dale Coyne’s vacant second seat, a seat that is notoriously late to get filled.
UNLIKELY TO RACE
Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov, Jerome D’Ambrosio: The 2012 Caterham pair have only been linked to F1 seats and neither raised enough for them to be viable candidates. D’Ambrosio lost the lead Lotus reserve role to 2012 GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi, who has already tested after Kimi Raikkonen’s food poisoning.
Michael Schumacher: F1’s most statistically successful driver may not be in a competitive championship this year but has already made an appearance in karting. Wherever he shows up this year, the news cycle will follow.