The ‘who’s out of contract’ game isn’t quite as crazy as last year’s, but we’ve still got seven drivers who could be staying put, snapped up by other teams or possibly out of a drive at the end of 2023. So, who are they? 🤔
This is the one that scares us the most. We know everyone has their opinions on different drivers, by the thought of such an iconic figure retiring from F1 always makes us sad. Although Lewis’ current deal expires at the end of 2023, he and Mercedes have made it clear they want to extend it, and all it would take is a dinner date to get it signed. So… can we hurry up and secure that, please?
Lewis and Mercedes showed in 2021 that they’re open to a one-year deal sometimes, so if he signs a longer contract – which is speculated to be at least two – it’s clear to us that the chase for the eighth world championship is on, and there’s only one team he’ll want to achieve that with.
Heading into this season, the pressure was on for Mercedes to provide Hamilton with a car capable of winning consistently, and that is still yet to happen.
One of our F1 rookies, but certainly not the most impressive one. That being said, his teammate Alex Albon has seriously outperformed that car, and although, at times, Sargeant’s pace and performance looked to be strong, he has yet to throw any surprises into the mix. His best-starting grid position is currently 14th, and he’s the only current driver (except for Daniel Ricciardo, but he’s only done two races!) to have not scored a point yet this season, although this was also true for the now-sacked Nyck de Vries.
He’s a rookie, and he’s still getting to grips with the car. But if he wants a fighting chance at staying on the grid for 2024, he needs to come back from the summer break having learnt some new Albon tips and tricks.
Our 2022 rookie of the year (we ignore the fact he was indeed the only rookie that year year) had a reasonably consistent season last year, despite the performance and reliability issues that the Alfa Romeo faced. He proved many of his critics wrong, but I’m sure he’ll want to step it up this year and improve on getting more top-10 finishes and keeping up with his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Into 2023, he’s really started to show the maturity and speed that can be brought to the table, but with the lack of pure pace and momentum from that car yet again, it’s been difficult to show off exactly what he can do. But even so, he’s managed to bring home four points to the team, only one fewer than his teammate, who is signed on until 2025. Time for an extension?
Considering Kevin wasn’t supposed to be behind the wheel of the car in 2022, he didn’t have a bad year, did he? Bursting back onto the scene after Haas terminated Nikita Mazepin’s contract, he certainly made people notice his return.
He earned his maiden pole position in Brazil, which was his first and the team’s first, too! Besides that, he did the best he could in the machinery he was given. So far in 2023, he’s played a bit of a second fiddle to the new “Mr Saturday” Nico Hulkenberg. But generally, they are fairly equal when race day rolls around and make for a good driver pairing – despite their ‘heated’ past.
Kevin shows the levels of maturity and experience needed to drive that Haas currently, and it would be a shame to see him go.
Having not been in F1 full-time since 2019, we think Nico has had quite an impressive season so far
His experience is what ultimately secured him the seat at Haas in the first place as the replacement for Mick Schumacher, who was unable to deliver consistent results.
As mentioned earlier, he’s definitely taken George Russell’s “Mr Saturday” crown. He has genuinely been challenging the top six or seven at times in qualifying and looked like the real deal in Australia, coming home seventh to score six of Haas’ 11 points so far this year. Reliable and ready to extract the best he can from the car when needed? Sounds like a done deal.
His contract reportedly contains an option to cover 2024, though it was not announced as a multi-year agreement.
Another year, another hunt for a contract extension for Yuki Tsunoda. Even though he’s been driving with AlphaTauri since 2021, he’s only ever managed to get his hands on one-year contracts since driving in F1.
His time behind the wheel of an F1 car hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. The last two years have been full of ups and a few more downs than he was hoping for. But he started the 2023 season very strongly, and we think he is having his best season in F1 so far. He’s brought home much-needed points (if only two) to AlphaTauri and is now heading into the second part of the season with even more pressure on his back.
With Daniel Ricciardo returning to F1 as his teammate and with Red Bull’s pool of young drivers waiting on the sidelines for their chance in F1, if Yuki wants to stay on the grid in 2024, he needs to keep up his current momentum.
Well, who knew we’d be back here talking about Daniel Ricciardo in 2023? After signing up to be Red Bull’s third driver for this season, he made his F1 return a bit earlier than initially expected when he was brought in to replace De Vries from the Hungarian GP onwards.
He’s made it very clear his goal is to secure a return to Red Bull for 2025, and only time will tell where we could see him next year. Though many fans speculate he could be swapped in to replace Sergio Perez for 2024, Red Bull has made it clear they intend to see Checo’s contract out in full.
It’s too early to judge how Daniel’s 2023 season is going – considering he’s only done two races – but we’re sure he’ll be return after the summer break to fight for points and show everyone he’s back.
Do you think any of these drivers could be out of F1 at the end of the season?