As Formula 1 teams try to figure out how to get the most out of the cars under the new regulations while staying within the budget cap, it seems the majority are reluctant to alter their driver rosters for 2023.
With the top three teams Ferrari, Redbull, and mercedes Already all but locked down to bring back this year’s couples for the foreseeable future, news and rumors are quickly shaping the rest of the lineup.
McLaren is the only other team with both drivers officially under contract for next season, and talk of Daniel Ricciardo’s possible replacement due to his lackluster performance has died down, at least for now.
While team boss Zak Brown previously made comments that appeared to show a lack of trust in the Australian driver, he recently walked back those statements, saying he had a great relationship with the driver and that he was just honest about his disappointment with the results.
Given that the team chemistry is strong, the results have been somewhat improved and McLaren is likely looking at a path of more than a year to get back to the front, there doesn’t seem to be any reason not to accept Brown’s comments at face value. .
Alpha Tauri officially announced that Pierre Gasly would return next year. While there doesn’t seem to be a future in which the Frenchman regains his seat with the parent team, at the moment it looks like there’s no better career path than continuing to get good marks. results with the junior team and to hope for a future opportunity elsewhere. .
For their part, AT have no Red Bull juniors knocking on the door and no immediate need to find the next driver to promote, so they can continue to stick with Gasly (currently 11e in the driver standings) and be competitive with the midfield.
A decision on Yuki Tsunoda will likely not come until much later in the year. With Juri Vips is fired organization after making a racist comment during an online streaming session, the biggest challenger for Tsunoda’s seat is probably 19-year-old Dennis Hauger from Norway.
Hauger won the Formula 3 championship last year and is currently fifth in Formula 2, winning the last race in Baku. If he’s able to combine a strong remainder of 2022 with a lack of success from Tsunoda, it’s possible he could enter the conversation at Alpha.
After an impressive eighth place finish in Canada, several outlets have already reported that Alfa Romeo will bring back 2022 rookie Zhou Guanyu to a new team with Valtteri Bottas, with the feeling that promising 18-year-old junior driver Théo Pourchaire would be better served by another year in Formula 2.
However, Porchaire could force through if he was able to come back and win the F2 championship.
Two former world champions, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, both seem more likely than not to return alongside their current teammates, but both Aston Martin and Alpine have not yet made any public commitments.
Alpine continue to weigh the pros and cons of replacing Alonso with top prospect and current reserve driver Oscar Piastri, with their other option still appearing to be a season-long loan from Piastri to Williams.
The Piastri-Williams deal could be part of a wider collaboration that would see Williams switch from its current Mercedes engines, which have been seen as underperforming, to supply by Alpine.
Alpine has been on the hunt for a customer/partner team since being pushed away by McLaren for Mercedes in 2021. In addition, Aston Martin still has Nico Hulkenberg available as an option should Vettel decide to retire.
williams chief Jost Capito has been quiet about the teams’ future plans (although he tried to crush speculation that Nicolas Latifi could be replaced before the end of the current season), but so far it seems happy with Alex Albon’s performance, and an Albon/Piastri line-up seems like the most likely pairing for 2023.
To Haas, Mick Schumacher still hasn’t scored a point, but he’s at least stopped adding to the team’s already large repair bills, and the organization now seems more inclined to consider continuing the relationship in the future. . Kevin Magnussen is already signed for 2023.
Someone who hasn’t been part of the rumor mill is current Formula 2 leader Felipe Drugovich, who despite a comfortable lead over second-placed Pourchaire remains without a contract with a top team. At 22 and banned from returning to F2 if he wins the championship, Drugovich may have to look for opportunities outside of F1.
As for travel arrangements for next year, talks have heated over a return to the Kyalami Circuit in South Africa, bolstered by a visit to the country by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
Qatar returns as the calendar is set to expand to 25 races in 2023. Additionally, Las Vegas will host F1’s third race on American soil in November next year. China may be heading for a temporary absence from the schedule due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Otherwise, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, despite being one of the most iconic races of the series, risks being left out.
There also remain question marks over whether Mexico, Monaco and France will return to the schedule.
We’ll be back in a few weeks with another Silly Season update, whether it’s driver or track related. Stay tuned!