With the 2019 about to get underway, everyone up and down the pitlane is frantically getting ready, trying to work out what the next 21 races have in store. Here are 3 of the more unexpected events that might occur between now and Abu Dhabi:
Ocon to replace Kubica – If Williams spend the season at the back of the grid (which looks worryingly likely), it’s doubtful the 34-year-old Pole will enjoy his comeback. Signs of frustration were creeping in during testing, and Kubica might cut his losses and try another form of motorsport before the season is out. The empty seat would then provide the perfect opportunity to keep Esteban Ocon fresh, if he is needed at Mercedes next season.
Hulkenberg to outscore Ricciardo – Since moving from Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo has had to constantly deny that he has ran away from a battle with Max Verstappen. Although not quite in the same bracket as the ultra-talented Dutchman, Nico Hulkenberg is an extremely competent driver, and will be desperate to prove himself against his race winning teammate. The German is firmly bedded in within Renault, and the chance of his first ever podium should give him extra motivation.
Alonso to drive in a race weekend – The spectre of their not fully retired double world champion looms over McLaren this season. With arguably the most unexperienced line up on the grid (the only team with no podiums between the two drivers), the Woking team may need to turn to Fernando to help develop new parts. With in-season testing largely banned, expect to see Alonso making appearances in a few Friday sessions. Should either Sainz or Norris underperform, that could easily extend to Saturday and Sunday as well.