The field of Formula 1 drivers for the 2023 season is gradually but surely taking shape. Who will be able to claim the last few open spots for the following year?
As a result of Zhou Guanyu’s strong performance in his rookie season, Alfa Romeo decided to extend his contract for another year, making him the 17th driver to be officially confirmed as a member of the 2023 Season Formula 1 lineup.
With the news, the 23-year-old Chinese driver becomes the 16th driver to have secured his seat for the following season. This is due to the fact that one of the 17 confirmed drivers, Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri, could yet wind up driving for another team.
Although AlphaTauri has “confirmed” the participation of both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda in the 2023 season, Alfa Romeo is one of just six teams that have their lineups for the following season completely set.
When all is said and done, who will be competing in the 2023 driver lineup? The following is our forecast:
Two Seats Confirmed
|Max Verstappen||Lando Norris|
|Sergio Perez||Oscar Piastri (R)|
|Charles Leclerc||Valtteri Bottas|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||Zhou Guanyu|
|George Russell||Fernando Alonso|
|Lewis Hamilton||Lance Stroll|
One Seat Confirmed
|Esteban Ocon||Kevin Magnussen|
|Yuki Tsunoda||Alex Albon|
This leaves available competition positions at Alpine, Haas, AlphaTauri, and Williams, making a total of four.
Prediction: Pierre Gasly
Alpine was shocked when Fernando Alonso decided to leave for Aston Martin, but they had Oscar Piastri as a backup.
The FIA Contract Recognition Board (CRB) found in McLaren’s favor after Piastri signed a contract to replace Daniel Ricciardo.
Pierre Gasly is under contract with AlphaTauri through 2023, but they’re open to letting him leave if they can find a replacement. His name is related to Alpine’s highest available seat.
If they can’t get Gasly, they could sign Nyck de Vries, who excelled with Williams in Monza. If de Vries joins Williams, Alpine junior and F2 driver Jack Doohan might be promoted.
Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo are currently longshots.
Prediction: Nyck de Vries (R)
In spite of the fact that they will not be signing IndyCar driver Colton Herta, AlphaTauri are still open to the notion of allowing Pierre Gasly sign with Alpine, presumably Alpine, should they be able to acquire a capable replacement for Herta.
Given his background and experience, there is little doubt that Nyck de Vries would make an excellent replacement. The 2019 Formula 2 champion and the 2020-2021 Formula E world champion finally got the opportunity to make his Formula 1 debut with Williams in Monza, and he scored two points, giving him one-third of the team’s points this year (through 16 races) in just a single start. In addition, he will be the world champion in Formula E in 2020-2021.
However, should de Vries sign with Alpine or Williams, Gasly is already set for another year with AlphaTauri, and the contract to make it happen without any controversy is already in place. If de Vries signs with either of those teams.
Prediction: Logan Sargeant (R)
Despite the fact that the 27-year-old Dutchman had an impressive debut with the team, it is highly unlikely that Williams will be able to secure Nyck de Vries as Nicholas Latifi’s replacement on a full-time basis. This is because Williams would likely have to beat out Alpine and/or AlphaTauri to do so, and despite de Vries’s impressive debut with the team, it is highly unlikely that Williams will be able to do so.
To their relief, it seems that they have a decent backup plan in place with Williams junior and Formula 2 driver Logan Sargeant, provided that he earns the necessary points to earn an FIA Super License. However, this is dependent on the fact that he scores these points. Since 2015, no other American driver has competed in Formula 1, and Sargeant would be the first to do so since then.
In the event that this is not the case, Alpine could lend them Jack Doohan, similar to how they had originally planned to do with Oscar Piastri when they were anticipating the return of Fernando Alonso. Alternatively, Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo are real possibilities that could be considered.
Prediction: Nico Hulkenberg
This year’s silly season features a true wild card in the form of Haas. They could still make the decision to bring Mick Schumacher back for a third season, and there is a good chance that doing so would be in everyone’s best interest. Many people appear to believe that this is an option.
In the event that this does not occur, however, there have been suggestions made regarding the following three drivers: Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Since it was reported that Ricciardo will be leaving McLaren, he has been linked to a number of seats at other teams, but you can’t help but assume that there is a bit of sentimental value in selling those options. This is because Ricciardo has spent his whole career at McLaren.
Hulkenberg has recently established himself as the favorite, but he has been connected to a number of seats since since he finished his final full-time race in 2019. Should we thus accept that with a much larger grain of salt than usual?
Concerning Giovinazzi, one cannot overlook the fact that his Ferrari has new tires. Even though Haas has stated that they will not wait for Ferrari to decide who would be their second driver, the fact that Michael Schumacher’s time with the Prancing Horse may be coming to an end does not auger well for the future of his connection with the team. In addition to this, it looks like Haas is holding off on making a choice, doesn’t it? This could be a positive sign for Giovinazzi.
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