THE 2010 LIST, PROBABLY

Confirmed seats in Formula One’s 2010 season are almost as rare as fully committed sponsors.

But with more teams, perhaps as many as 14 if BMW’s new owners make it to the grid, there are plenty of seats – and even more permutations to go around.

So who will drive Lotus, now that it is officially not called the 1Malaysia F1 Team

This is almost easy. The team stands no chance of running at the front in its first year. So it needs to be a training ground for the whole team, despite the fact that some long-standing F1 characters have joined the team in various senior roles. Malaysia has some very good drivers – but in single seaters, now that Alex Yoong has shot his bolt and retired to tin-tops, there is only one worth considering: Fairus Fauzi. Fairus is a natural driver, he knows when to take risks and when to hold back. He wins races with his brain as much as with his right foot. True, Yoong is probably a better technical driver, but Fairus is a better racer. He’s fearless but not cavallier, fast in the right places and reads the conditions around him superbly. He’s not ready for F1, but there is a political (small p) demand to have a Malaysian in the Lotus team which is owned by Malaysian commercial interests and will, in due course, move some of its operations to Malaysia.

So who should partner him? Without doubt, it should be Anthony Davidson. In karting circles, he was always reckoned to be better than either Hamilton or Button had been. He’s a lost talent who proved his worth at Super Aguri since when he’s been sidelined. He’s English so that goes well with the incredible following that Lotus has in the UK.

Put these two together to grow with the team and, if the management doesn’t stuff it up, they will be in the top ten in 2011 and fighting for a podium in 2012.