With Formula One teams trying to figure out how to get the most out of the cars under the new regulations while staying within the budget cap, it seems most are shying away from changing their driver line-ups for 2023.
With the top three teams ferrari, red bull, Y Mercedes Already virtually focused on bringing back this year’s matchups for the foreseeable future, news and rumors are quickly shaping the rest of the roster.
McLaren it 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 the time being.
While team boss Zak Brown had previously made comments that seemed to show a lack of confidence in the Australian driver, he recently retracted those statements, stating that he had a great relationship with the driver and was simply being honest about his disappointment in the results.
Given that team chemistry is strong, results have improved somewhat and McLaren is likely looking for a more than year-long path back to the front, there seems to be no reason not to take Brown’s comments at face value. .
alpha tauri has officially announced that Pierre Gasly will return next year. Although it seems that there is no future in which the Frenchman will regain his seat in the parent team, it seems that at the moment there is no better career path than to continue to reap good results with the junior team and wait for a future opportunity elsewhere. .
For their part, AT has no Red Bull juniors knocking on the door and no immediate need to find the next driver to promote, so they can stick with Gasly (currently 11the in the drivers’ standings) and be competitive with the midfield.
A decision on Yuki Tsunoda likely won’t be made until much later in the year. With Juri Vips getting fired from the organization after making a racist comment during an online streaming session, the biggest challenger for Tsunoda’s seat is probably 19-year-old Norwegian Dennis Hauger.
Hauger won the Formula 3 championship last year and is currently fifth in Formula Two, winning the most recent race in Baku. If he can combine a good remainder of 2022 with Tsunoda’s lack of success, it’s possible he could get into the conversation in Alpha.
After an impressive eighth place finish in Canada, several media outlets have already reported that Alfa Romeo will bring back 2022 rookie Zhou Guanyu back into the team with Valtteri Bottas, with a feeling that promising 18-year-old junior driver Théo Pourchaire would be better served by another year in Formula 2.
However, Porchaire could force the issue if he could come back and win the F2 championship.
Two former world champions, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, seem more likely to return alongside their current team-mates, however both Aston-Martin Y Alpine they have not yet made any public commitment.
Alpine continues to weigh the pros and cons of replacing Alonso with top prospect and current reserve driver Oscar Piastri, and his other option appears to be a one-year Piastri-to-Williams loan.
Piastri’s deal with Williams could be part of a larger collaboration that would see Williams switch its current Mercedes engines, which have been seen as underperforming, to being supplied by Alpine.
Alpine has been looking for a customer/partner team ever since McLaren turned him down for Mercedes in 2021. In addition, Aston Martin still has Nico Hülkenberg available as an option should Vettel decide to pull out.
Williams Boss Jost Capito has kept quiet about the teams’ future plans (although he has tried to quash speculation that Nicolas Latifi could be replaced before the end of the current season), but seems happy with Alex Albon’s performance so far, and An Albon/Piastri lineup looks like the most likely pairing for 2023.
A HaasMick Schumacher has yet to score a point, but at least he has stopped adding to the team’s already extensive repair bills, and the organization now seems more inclined to consider continuing the relationship in the future. Kevin Magnussen is already signed for 2023.
One who hasn’t been part of the rumor mill is current Formula 2 leader Felipe Drugovich, who despite a comfortable lead over second place Pourchaire remains without a contract with a top-tier team. At 22 years old and banned from returning to F2 if he wins the championship, Drugovich may need to seek opportunities outside of F1.
As for travel arrangements for next year, talk of a return to South Africa’s Kyalami circuit has intensified, bolstered by a visit to the country by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
Qatar returns as the calendar is scheduled to expand to 25 races in 2023. Additionally, Las Vegas will host the third F1 race on American soil in November next year. China could be headed 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 in the series, could be at risk of being left out.
Questions also remain over whether Mexico, Monaco and France will return to the calendar.
We’ll be back in a few weeks with another Silly Season update, be it controller or track related. Stay tuned!