One Quarter of the F1 grid can be classified as Paying for their drive this year:
And really Di Resta should be added to this list too, given that it is believed that a deal was done on the Force India Mercedes Engine price in order to get him the drive over Hulkenburg.
I'm not knocking the Paying Driver idea (maybe a little) until we see what they're worth over the course of a season. Petrov has shown he has talent and probably deserves a place on the grid; great things are expected from Di Resta given his racing history; and Perez may turn out to be a find.
Maldonado and d'Ambrosio - who knows?
Alguersuari - I don't rate
Karthikeyan - Let's face it if he was any good Force India would have him on their dream team, particularly given his relationship to their previous incarnation: Jordan.
Maybe I'll be surprised this year (and if I am I'll be delighted to be wrong) but somehow I have a sense that at least 4 of the 7 will be making up the numbers - a further case to support 10 teams on the F1 grid.
Rant over - except to say that regardless of my feelings about Ant. Liuzzi the boy done good in refusing to pay for his drive and clinching the deal anyway!