FIA publishes provisional 2012 F1 entry list

2011 Brazilian GP

There are 24 driving spots up for grabs every year in Formula One and so far we have 15 of them safely locked in. Overnight the FIA released a provisional entry list for the 2012 season which shows nine are seats officially vacant.

Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes are settled. No surprises there. Marussia is also confirmed. So, too Caterham, which is interesting given there has been talk Daniel Ricciardo may replace Jarno Trulli.

Lotus has just signed Kimi Raikonnen, leaving Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean in the hunt for the remaining drive. Robert Kubica has confirmed he won’t be ready to race at the start of next season. It will be interesting to see what happens should he be ready to go part way through 2012. There are rumblings he could displace Felipe Massa at Ferrari.

Officially Force India are driverless, but Paul di Resta should be safe after an impressive rookie year. It’s expected Adrian Sutil will make way for Nico Hulkenberg, who, you may remember, claimed pole position in his most recent F1 race.

Toro Rosso is an interesting case. Incumbent drivers Sebastien Bumei and Jaime Algeursuari could be forgiven for expecting to comfortably retain their jobs. They’ve not done a lot wrong. However, they’ve also failed to demand the attention of the F1 paddock. With young guns like Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne ready to pounce that may prove costly.

Williams was in the hunt for Kimi Raikkonen but baulked at his wage demands. So you’d think the status quo of veteran Rubens Barichello and the cash of Pastor Maldonado will remain. We’ll have to wait and see, it appears.

Which leaves perennial back markers HRT with no drivers. However, long-term McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa has been signed and Tonio Liuzzi hasn’t done his chances of surviving at HRT any major damage in 2011.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

2012 FIA Formula One World Championship Entry List

as at 30 November 2011

Red Bull Racing Renault
1 Sebastian Vettel (DEU)
2 Mark Webber (AUS)

McLaren Mercedes
3 Jenson Button (GBR)
4 Lewis Hamilton (GBR)

5 Fernando Alonso (ESP)
6 Felipe Massa (BRA)

7 Michael Schumacher (DEU)
8 Nico Rosberg (DEU)

Lotus Renault
9 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)
10 TBA Romain Grosjean (FRA)

Force India Mercedes
11 TBA Paul Di Resta (GBR)*
12 TBA Nico Hulkenberg (DEU)*

Sauber Ferrari
14 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN)
15 Sergio Perez Mendoza (MEX)

STR Ferrari
16 TBA Daniel Ricciardo (AUS)*
17 TBA Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA)*

Williams Renault
18 TBA Pastor Maldonado (VEN)*
19 TBA Bruno Senna (BRA)*

Caterham Renault
20 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN)
21 Jarno Trulli (ITA)

22 TBA Pedro de la Rosa (ESP)
23 TBA Narain Karthikeyan (IND)

Marussia Cosworth
24 Timo Glock (DEU)
25 Charles Pic (FRA)

*number not yet confirmed