• 2012 season

The 2012 grid so far

ESPNF1 Staff

An overview of the 2012 grid as it shapes up over the winter. Updated regularly with the lastest announcements and rumours from the driver market

Red Bull has opted to stick with its winning formula for another year © Sutton Images

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber

There will be no change at the top team after Webber signed a new one-year contract at the Belgian Grand Prix. Vettel is tied to Red Bull until 2014.


Jenson Button
Lewis Hamilton

Button recently signed a three-year contract with the team after settling in nicely over the past two seasons. Hamilton has hinted that he will extend his contract beyond 2012 next year.


Fernando Alonso
Felipe Massa

Alonso is tied to the team until 2016 but Massa will need to prove himself in 2012 to see his stay extended into 2013.


Nico Rosberg
Michael Schumacher

Rosberg signed a new multi-year deal in Abu Dhabi to extend his contract beyond 2013. Schumacher will be on the final season of his three-year contract in 2012, but the team is willing re-sign the seven-time champion if the circumstances are right.

Lotus (this year's Renault) announcing Kimi Raikkonen for 2012 came as a bit of a shock to the driver market © Lotus Renault GP


Kimi Raikkonen
Romain Grosjean

Raikkonen grabbed the headlines by agreeing to a two-year deal with the team after the Brazilian Grand Prix, and when the team did not confirm Vitaly Petrov on the official FIA entry list - despite him having a contract for 2012 - it became clear the second seat was up for grabs. It was Grosjean who got it after impressing the team during Friday practice sessions at the end of the season following a dominant GP2 campaign. Bruno Senna is another to miss out having driven for the team in 2011, but the situation surrounding Robert Kubica remains uncertain, as he is still recovering from his rallying accident and is now out of contract. Lotus has said it will do everything to help Kubica return to F1, but has ruled him out of the start of 2012.

Force India

Paul di Resta
Nico Hulkenberg

It took much longer than expected, but team principal Vijay Mallya finally bit the bullet and announced Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg as his drivers for 2012. Adrian Sutil's strong performances towards the end of the year should help him find a drive elsewhere, but with just two seats left - one at Williams and one at HRT - his options are limited.


Kamui Kobayashi
Sergio Perez

Sauber announced it would be sticking with its 2011 driver line-up back in July. The team took up an option on Kobayashi to stay for at least another year while Perez already had a multi-year deal in place.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo
Jean-Eric Vergne

It was a major surprise when Toro Rosso announced that both Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi would be replaced having done solid jobs in 2011. The pair had faced stiff competition from Red Bull-backed drivers Ricciardo and Vergne, but appeared to have done enough to keep their seats. However, Red Bull's ruthlessness came through as both were axed to give fresh talent a chance to shine.

Bruno Senna was announced as the second driver in January, leaving Rubens Barrichello without a drive © Williams


Pastor Maldonado
Bruno Senna

Maldonado did not feature on the FIA's official entry list, but has since been announced as one of the race drivers for the team. While the other seat took a while to be confirmed, Bruno Senna was eventually announced as having secured the drive. He joins the team his uncle Ayrton used to drive for, leaving 2011 driver Rubens Barrichello's career looking over after 19 seasons and Adrian Sutil also without a seat. Test driver Vatteri Bottas impressed during his recent run at the Young Driver Test, and has since been announced as the official reserve, with Frank Williams expecting him to participate in 15 Friday practice sessions next season.


Heikki Kovalainen
Jarno Trulli

Kovalainen has been linked to a drive at Lotus (old Renault) but says he will honour his current contract until the end of 2012. The second seat is less straightforward however, as Trulli extended his contract by one year in September, but Red Bull-backed Daniel Ricciardo was linked to the seat before being confirmed at Toro Rosso and a number of drivers with sponsorship remain on the market. Trulli was critical of pay drivers in early January, further fuelling rumours that one could take his place.


Pedro de la Rosa (Unconfirmed on official FIA list)

The news that de la Rosa will drive for HRT in 2012 came as a surprise, but it does satisfy the team's desire to have a Spanish driver in one of its cars. Bizarrely he was not confirmed on the official FIA entry list even though he has been announced as a driver by the team. Tonio Liuzzi is adamant he has a contract for 2012, but before the final race CEO Saul Ruiz de Marco said he would not confirm the team's second driver until after the season. Liuzzi does not fit with the team's tradition of opting for at least one pay driver so he might find himself under threat from someone with more cash. Spaniard Dani Clos has been linked to the seat after he tested for the team in Abu Dhabi, while Czech driver Jan Charouz bought his way into the Young Driver Test and a Friday drive in Brazil. Jaime Alguersuari was also seen as a good fit following his release by Toro Rosso but reports claim that he sees it is a backwards step in his career.


Timo Glock
Charles Pic

Just hours after the Brazilian Grand Prix, Marussia announced Pic would replace Jerome d'Ambrosio next year. Glock has a contract for another year but is believed to have a break clause if a big team comes knocking.

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