How the 2014 grid is taking shape

By on Sunday, December 8, 2013

With a couple of weeks until Christmas - and only seven until the first test in Jerez - here's how the 2014 grid is shaping up.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel will enter his sixth season with Red Bull Racing after clinching his fourth successive world title. Mark Webber’s decision to retire means that compatriot Daniel Ricciardo is promoted from Toro Rosso after two years with the Italian team. The relaxed in-season testing rules have led Red Bull to retain former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi as a test driver and he is joined by Portuguese racer Antonio Felix da Costa, who finished in third place in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

Mercedes AMG Petronas

With Caterham and Marussia yet to announce their line-ups, Mercedes is currently the only team who will retain both of their drivers from 2013 into 2014. Lewis Hamilton will begin his second year with the team, while Nico Rosberg races for the Silver Arrows for a fifth season.

Scuderia Ferrari

Ferrari has opted for fire and ice in 2014 as Fernando Alonso is joined at the team by Kimi Räikkönen. Alonso heads into his fifth season with the prancing horse, while Räikkönen returns to the team with which he won his world championship in 2007, before departing at the end of 2009.

Lotus F1 Team

Räikkönen’s move to Ferrari meant that Lotus required a suitable replacement but the financial situation forced the team into acquiring the services of Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan driver arrives with money, with Lotus still hoping that they can secure a deal with Quantum Motorsports. Maldonado will line-up alongside vastly improved Romain Grosjean, who continues with the team for a third year.

McLaren Mercedes

Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Jenson Button remains with McLaren for a fifth season as he prepares for his 15th year in Formula 1. He is joined by Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion Kevin Magnussen, who beat fellow McLaren youngster Stoffel Vandoorne to that title. McLaren had been expected to name their new title sponsor last week but that announcement is now likely to take place at the launch of the new car.

Sahara Force India

Force India continues its tradition of not retaining the same two drivers in successive season as 2012 race driver Nico Hülkenberg returns to the team. He is set to be joined at the Silverstone based outfit by McLaren refugee Sergio Pérez. Paul di Resta’s Formula 1 future appears bleak.

Sauber F1 Team

Hülkenberg’s decision to re-join Force India leaves Sauber without a lead driver. Adrian Sutil could be heading in the other direction to join the Swiss team, while 2013 racer Esteban Gutiérrez remains a candidate. An outside contender is GP2 racer Felipe Nasr, who could attract sponsors from his native Brazil and shares a manager with Raikkonen.

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Red Bull has retained faith in French racer Jean-Eric Vergne, who is given a third season at Toro Rosso. He will be partnered by Russian teenager Daniil Kvyat, who rapidly rose through the ranks by storming to the GP3 championship in 2013.

Williams F1 Team

Maldonado’s relationship with Williams deteriorated but the team came to an agreement with sponsor PDVSA, thus allowing the outfit to sign Ferrari outcast Felipe Massa. The Brazilian is not a pay driver, but the team is hoping to exploit the potentially lucrative market in his home country. Massa will line-up next to Valtteri Bottas, who raced for the team in 2013.

Marussia F1 Team

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham F1 Team

Ferrari protégé Jules Bianchi will remain with the team for a second season – this time with the benefit of a full pre-season programme – while reliable rookie Max Chilton is the primary contender for the other drive. Chilton may be usurped if a cash-laden driver comes along.

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham’s 2014 line-up remains fuzzy, although noises from the Netherlands are that Giedo van der Garde will remain with the team (incidentally, Van der Garde visited Renault’s factory this week, suggesting he gets a second season). Charles Pic’s future appears uncertain, with his management unwilling to splash more cash. GP2 racer Marcus Ericsson was a guest of the team in Brazil, while Gutiérrez recently visited the team’s factory in Leafield. Reserve driver Heikki Kovalainen remains an option, although he may once again be trumped by cash.

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