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Who’s driving where in F1 in 2019?

October 2, 2018

This year’s ‘silly season’ has prompted more driver/team lineup changes than any that I can remember. There have been big movers (Kimi, Ricciardo & Alonso), smaller movers (Stroll, Giovinazzi & Kvyat) and some important non-movers (Perez & Hulkenberg), but with the exception of Mercedes every team has been affected in some way.

Here’s a list of who’s driving where for 2019:

Mercedes Hamilton Bottas
Ferrari Vettel Leclerc*
Red Bull Verstappen Gasly*
Racing Point Force India Perez† Stroll*†
Renault Hulkenberg Ricciardo*
McLaren Sainz* Norris*
Williams Sirotkin† TBC*
Toro Rosso Kvyat* TBC
Sauber Raikkonen* Giovinazzi*
* Mover † Not confirmed, but likely

And here’s a list of drivers still looking for a confirmed drive in Formula 1 for 2019:

Esteban Ocon Currently driving for Force India, soon to be replaced by Stroll
George Russell F2 Champion elect, contracted to Mercedes
Stoffel Vandoorne Current McLaren driver
Robert Kubica Williams’ reserve driver
Marcus Ericsson Currently driving for Sauber, & with a test driver role confirmed for 2019 unlikely to move
Brendon Hartley Driving for Toro Rosso in 2018
Artem Markelov F2 & Renault development driver. A slim chance
Jack Aitken F2 driver & Renault reserve driver. Enough superlicense points but an outside bet
Nigel Mansell Yet to hang up his overalls officially. More than happy to step up if required.

By my reckoning there are two or three drives available with eight drivers in the frame. Some, like Russell and Ocon have only the Williams seat(s) as an option, given their ties with Mercedes. Others, with their links to Renault, may be precluded from any association with Toro Rosso with Red Bull Racing and Renault’s relationship becoming somewhat fractured in recent months.

Red Bull are said to have been hoping to promote Briton Dan Ticktum to Toro Rosso’s Formula 1 lineup, but insufficient Super License points have scuppered that.

It’s also rumoured that Honda are keen to have a Japanese driver in a Honda powered car as soon as possible, but their preferred option (Honda Junior driver) Nirei Fukuzumi required a 4th place in this year’s F2 championship to gain enough Super License points, he’s currently languishing down in 17th, and doesn’t look like he could knock the skin off a rice pudding (not their official line).


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