From that list I can only think Hulk ... if he manages to beat or be on the same level as Ric this season. Others are not good enough and Ric just signed up with Renault, being already overlooked by Ferrari for this year. Honestly I don't see any obvious candidate at this moment
All firmly ahead of Kubica in the list. Unless he starts doing some pretty incredible miracles with that piece of **** Williams, which realistically seems unlikely to happen. Even if he vastly outpaces Russell (and so far it seems it's been more like the other way around) it's not really gonna prove much as Russell is promising but an unknown quantity.
Back to Ferrari, if there's no good enough driver available, then you take the best of the not good enough drivers. See an history of hiring people like Eddie Irvine, Mika Salo and Giancarlo Fisichella as it was the best they could get in the circumstances. Mind you, I'm not so sure they're gonna need to hire a driver any time soon! Leclerc is super young and Vettel still has 7 or 8 years ahead of him if he wants to. We need to see how does the situation at Ferrari stabilize because if Leclerc proves consistently quicker, then Vettel's actually a really really good #2 driver to have. Perhaps a bit expensive for a #2 but that's not an unprecedented situation in F1 and Ferrari can afford it. There's many different scenarios I can see panning out, and there's only 2 of them in which they'll need a driver:
a) if Leclerc vs Vettel is too close to call and it generates too much of an internal war that is unsustainable. Any close fight between 2 team-mates with the world championship at stake causes friction, but I don't see it reaching the "we must pick a driver and sack the other one" stage with these 2, the personalities don't seem abrasive enough, I think it will be challenging for Ferrari but manageable.
or b) if Vettel is beaten and can't take it and decides to leave on his own. Now this is more likely to happen as it already happened once in his career (moved out of Red Bull as soon as Ricciardo outpaced him), but where does he go to? Back to Red Bull seems likeliest as Red Bull would be delighted to take him, but does he really want to face Max Verstappen? Facing Lewis at Mercedes? Even worse. Facing Ricciardo at Renault? Uncompetitive car and a team-mate that already beat him? **** no. The rest of the grid the best he could get would be a McLaren or something. So every single out option looks bad, why not just stick to Ferrari? Unless he flat out retires. Does he really want to retire already at the end of the season at an age of 32? Every driver when they're young they say they don't want to spend that long in F1, but then most of them do, if they have the chance. See Alonso dragging himself in the midfield for ages or Kimi even further.
So my guess for the Ferrari lineup for 2020 and even maybe 2021 and beyond is, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
Edited by noikeee, 07 April 2019 - 00:09.