With just six races remaining for the 2022 season, eyes are firmly ahead to the preparations for the following Formula 1 season. Regarding who will drive for whom in the 2023 season, some teams already have their lineups complete, while few are still deliberating the choices available and which driver would be a better fit for their team. The decision is not as straightforward, though, as many factors may hinder their search for their subsequent hiring. We will look at the remaining available grid slots and which drivers are rumored to be favorites for filling those slots.
|Teams||Driver 1||Driver 2|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Carlos Sainz|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||George Russell|
|Mclaren||Lando Norris||Oscar Piastri|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Zhou Guanyu|
|Aston Martin||Fernando Alonso||Lance Stroll|
|Alpha Tauri||Pierre Gasly(Not Confirmed)||Yuki Tsunoda|
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After the abrupt departure of Fernando Alonso and the whole fiasco of Oscar Piastri’s refusal to join the team, Alpine would like to conduct their business more efficiently, avoiding unnecessary negative attention. Their current preferred option for the 2nd race seat is Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly. Since his demotion from Red Bull to Alpha Tauri, Gasly has proved that he is still a desirable commodity on the F1 grid. His race win in the 2020 Italian GP has raised his stock further. With Gasly, Alpine knows that they have an experienced and race-winning driver who would give them a reasonably proficient grid along with the other driver Estaban Ocon. Plus, being a French team on the grid, a French driver would go well with the team’s profile. Even though Gasly is Alpine’s first choice, his departure from Alpha Tauri won’t be straightforward. The sister team of Red Bull has made it clear that they would only allow Gasly to leave if they find a suitable replacement for him first. Their first choice option was American IndyCar driver Colton Herta. His move to Alpha Tauri failed to materialize as he didn’t have enough super license points to compete in F1.
Alpine’s other options are the outgoing Mclaren Driver Daniel Ricciardo, Current Haas F1 team driver Mick Schumacher, and Ferrari’s reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi. Among these three, Ricciardo is the driver that the French team would seriously consider since he is a proven multiple race winner and was a part of the team in the 2019 and 2020 seasons when they were racing as a Renault F1 team. He is familiar with the workings of the group, and his integration into the team wouldn’t take long.
Kevin Magnussen’s return to Haas proved very successful for the team. His one-year absence from the sport didn’t impact his speed much, and he finished in points in three of the first four races. However, his teammate Mick Schumacher didn’t have a strong season as far as he had hoped. His second season with the team is looking like his last with them. Team Principal Guenther Steiner has been very vocal in his desire to find another driver for his team. His statement may be attributed to Schumacher’s lack of pace in the current season, as much more speed and performance were expected from him. Ferrari’s reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi and former F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg are the current favorites to join the team. Haas is not looking for any Rookie driver and wants someone experienced to occupy the 2nd driver’s seat. Another probable option for them is Daniel Ricciardo. He would be an excellent option for Haas, and Steiner has also expressed interest in the Aussie driver. But driving for Haas would be a step down for the Australian who has clearly stated that he would be willing to sit out the 2023 season if the right opportunity doesn’t present itself. It would take some convincing from Haas to make Ricciardo decide to drive for them.
Alpha Tauri’s name in this list only arises due to speculation that Gasly wants to leave the team and driver for Alpine. They had pursued Colton Herta for quite some time, and his American nationality was one of the main reasons for the team to try and sign him so that they may expand their fan following in the US market. After the move fell through the next name, which is linked with Alpha Tauri, is the 2022 Italian GP driver of the day winner Nyck De Vries. De Vries overtook the role for one race from William’s driver Alex Albon and had a strong race with the slowest car on the grid. He also managed to finish in points, which Albon’s teammate Nicholas Latifi couldn’t work to do all season. Current Red Bull’s advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has held talks with De Vries, and should Gasly decide to leave Alpha Tauri; De Vries would be their first choice to replace him.
After driving for three years for their team, Williams decided that they no longer needed the services of Latifi. Mercedes junior driver Nyck De Vries looks like his obvious replacement. His sole outing on the team’s car in Italian GP instead of ill Alex Albon raised his profile considerably. But interest from Alpha Tauri for the Dutchman means that the Williams F1 team would have to consider some redundancies if De Vries decided not to join them. If this scenario happens in reality, the team’s other option is their junior driver, Logan Sergeant. The current F2 driver currently stands third in the F2 standings. The only hurdle the American driver is facing right now is that he hasn’t accumulated enough super license points. If he finishes the current F2 season 6th or higher in the standings, he would have amassed enough points to qualify for a super license. Mick Schumacher has an outside chance for a race seat in Williams. His current form doesn’t support his case for a race seat, though, and he would have to show strong performance in the final six races to throw his name in contention for the race seat. The whole grid for the 2023 season may not be confirmed until the end of the current season. At the moment, none of the teams with a seat vacancy in F1 is in a hurry to decide.