The Class of 2014 – Part 2

With the front four teams sorted out we now move on to the midfield teams looking to make a step up from where they found themselves last season and be fighting for points and podiums. The teams at the focus of part 2 are McLaren, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams.

McLaren endured a torrid 2013 finishing 5th in the constructors championship, as a result of their poor performance, new signing Sergio Perez was axed only a year since joining the team, He is being replaced by FR3.5 champion and McLaren young driver Kevin Magnussen, He has shown on a number of occasions his raw pace and McLaren will hope that he can have a similar rookie season to that of Lewis Hamilton in 2007, the Dane will be partnered by 2009 World Champion Jenson Button.

Force India have named a complete new line up for 2014 although it is perhaps one of the most exciting pairings on the grid, McLaren exile Sergio Perez will hope that the form he showed in 2012 for Sauber can return and allow him to challenge for points and a possible podium this year, driving alongside him is returning Force India star Nico Hulkenberg, the young German has been touted as a future world champion but has seen his career go sideways for the past few years with moves from Williams to Force India as well as last seasons spell with Sauber, the time for Hulkenberg to prove his credentials is now and he needs to do so if he wants to put himself in contention for a drive at one of the leading teams.

Sauber retain the young Mexican Esteban Gutierrez for a second season although their plan to promote Sergey Sirotkin has been put on hold for another year at least, therefore they decided to go for the experienced head of now ex-Force India driver Adrian Sutil to replace Hulkenberg.

Toro Rosso lost their smiling assassin in Daniel Ricciardo to the senior team of Red Bull which meant that they had a decision to make, many people expected them to go with Antonio Felix da Costa or even Carlos Sainz Jr but instead the Faenza team opted for young Russian driver Daniil Kvyat, he showed good pace during practice sessions for the last two Grand Prix of 2013 and looks to be a solid racer. Kvyat partners Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso this year.

Williams saw their number one driver and their number one sponsor leave last year as Pastor Maldonado and his PDVSA money moved to Lotus, they replaced one South American with another as Felipe Massa joined after his Ferrari time finally came to a close at the end of last season. Massa will be partnered not for the first time in his career by a Finn, this time it is Valtteri Bottas who after a solid first year will be looking to improve and become a more regular points scorer,

Moving on to the two teams hoping they can claim their first points, Marussia and Caterham, Marussia have kept their line-up from 2013 and hope that Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton can deliver the Anglo-Russian team their first ever F1 point, in a complete opposite style, Caterham have replaced both of their 2013 drivers as Pic and Van Der Garde leave and are replaced by GP2 driver Marcus Ericsson for his first season in F1 and Kamui Kobayashi, making his return after a year out to the joy of many F1 fan with his aggressive style and overtakes proving popular amongst many.

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