There are several new drivers on the 2013 grid and that of course means that there are some other drivers who now doesn´t have a seat anymore.
One is Kamui Kobayashi, the former Sauber driver. The Swiss based team have said their goodbyes to both Sergio Perez and Kamui kobayashi and employed the services of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez, the latter promoted from his role as test and reserve driver.
There are not many race seats left on the grid and HRT is no longer an option, as the hapless team folded shortly after the 2012 season finished. No buyer has shown interest in the scraps and that also means two seats less to fill.
Caterham is taking an awful long time to announce their driver line up. Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov are no longer part of the team, instead Charles Pic signed a multi-year deal with the team, but his team mate is yet to be announced. Petrov would be a good choice, but despite reports from germany that the management behind Petrov had secured new large sponsors, Petrov´s manager Oksana kosachenko is no longer that optimistic about a race seat for 2013.
“So far, we haven’t managed to find new sponsors,” said Kosachenko.
“At the moment there are a lot of unanswered questions. There are too many nuances that need to be sorted out. We’re at the waiting stage, which is linked to the team’s restructuring. We completely depend on them and can’t speed anything up.”
And Kamui Kobayashi is also a driver with no seat, despite having secured in the area of £6m, raised by sponsors and fans. Such is the support behind Japan´s most succesful F1 driver in history, but perhaps he has a future at Caterham?
Everything is speculations at this moment, but time is running out. The first pre-season test is on February 5 at Jerez, and it would suit the teams with vacant seats to finalize their driver line-ups and start getting to work. Kobayashi is perhaps not the obvious choice for Caterham, but I personally think that he could be the driver who can move the team forward, not Petrov.