As we head into the summer break after an action packed Hungarian Grand Prix, the subject on everyone’s lips is who will be where in 2020.
Yes folks, the silly season is more than upon us. The fact a seat could be available at two of the top three teams, alongside two of the sport’s best drivers, is only the beginning.
Before we get there, we need to acknowledge what we saw at the Hungaroring to get the full picture.
Max Verstappen continued his incredible run of success. Saturday afternoon we saw the young Dutchman finally take his first pole position, becoming the 100th to do so, the fourth youngest ever.
After winning at Red Bull’s home Grand Prix in Austria, only contact from Sebastian Vettel stopped Verstappen achieving a podium in Great Britain. Another win in ever-changing conditions at the German Grand Prix meant the 21 year-old went into the Hungarian GP looking like he could become a possible championship contender.
There was only one man who could get in his way on Sunday, and that was five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who benefitted from tactical mastermind on the Mercedes pit wall. Fresher tyres from the second stop allowed the Briton to chase Verstappen down for the win after an incredible battle between the two.
Hamilton is having another incredible year in his career. Other than the German Grand Prix, where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, the 34 year-old has continued his winning ways, to sit 62 points ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas, with Verstappen only seven points behind the Finn in third.
The results Verstappen and Hamilton have achieved mean a few things. We get to witness incredible racing, the passion of their fans at racetracks around the world, and it has shaken up the results table.
Unfortunately, there is a negative side. Well, a negative side if your name is Valterri Bottas or Pierre Gasly. The former had started the year very strongly and looked to be a real challenge to Hamilton’s championship charge, but an error in Germany and an eighth in Hungary, the tide seems to be changing.
Mercedes Team principal, Toto Wolff announced they will be choosing between Bottas, and the team’s official reserve driver, Esteban Ocon for 2020. The Finn has performed well and makes the vibe inside the team is a lot more peaceful than when Nico Rosberg was in his seat but leaving a young driver out to pasture also cannot be accepted. What would you do?
At Red Bull, the pressure has been on Gasly, consistently, no doubt made worse because of the constant stream of achievement on the other side of the garage. There is no doubt Red Bull have a reputation of moving through young drivers, and have said he is safe for the remainder of the 2019 season, but who could be his replacement in 2020?
Can Kvyat move back to the main team? Is Albon ready to make the jump? Will Alonso come out of retirement? Or Hulkenberg move from Renault?
We have more than enough to think about during the summer break!