Mercedes AMG F1: Lewis Hamilton has a contract until the end of 2020. What happens beyond that is unclear. Team boss Toto Wolff wanted to decide on the future of Valtteri Bottas over the summer break. According to media reports, he has the: The Finn is to receive another one-year contract. Their current test driver Esteban Ocon looks to be set for a move to the Renault F1 Team after a year on the sidelines. This move was already thought for last year until a surprise move of Daniel Ricciardo crushed his hopes of being on the grid.
Scuderia Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are both remaining as drivers for the Scuderia.
Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen’s contract was automatically extended for 2020 by being third in the drivers’ championship at the start of the summer break. The second cockpit is the subject of speculation. Should Alexander Albon prove himself with good performances, he will probably stay. A return from Pierre Gasly is unlikely – he had his chance. A return of Daniil Kvyat is not excluded, but would be unusual. Surprisingly unusual outsider chances are given to external candidates like Nico Hülkenberg.
Renault F1 Team: Daniel Ricciardo has signed a long commitment to Renault. Nico Hülkenberg has posted a cover of the magazine “Auto Hebdo” on his social media channel(s) during the summer break, which showed Esteban Ocon in a Renault overall. A pretty clear signal that the German is expecting to probably be replaced at Renault. Today Esteban Ocon announced on his social media channel that he will be racing with Renault F1 in 2020.
Haas F1 Team: Kevin Magnussen is considered to retain his place in the team. In addition, two Germans are apparently in negotiation with the team: Nico Hulkenberg, it is said, is Günther Steiner’s first choice. Pascal Wehrlein is also on the list. Romain Grosjean can only turn his fortune with superior performance, which he has been lacking so far.
McLaren Racing: Both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz have been officially confirmed for 2020.
Racing Point Force India F1: Sergio Perez is considered to have his place in the team secured, even if he has flirted in between with a change to Haas. His contract extension is only a formality. And Lance Stroll will probably enjoy the preference of his father Lawrence Stroll, who owns the team.
Sauber Alfa Romeo: Kimi Raikkonen has a two-year contract that expires in late 2020. Antonio Giovinazzi is hard-working and popular due to his Italian roots but did not live up to expectations. A comeback of Marcus Ericsson is not excluded. Perhaps Pascal Wehrlein is also a prospect which has proven himself as a Ferrari simulator driver. A surprise entry of candidate Mick Schumacher seems a long shot. It is more likely that he will need another year to ripe in Formula 2. Schumacher seems however set to drive a few Friday tests.
Scuderia Toro Rosso: Whoever drives at Toro Rosso depends on who Red Bull wants. As of today (August 29), the pairing of Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly seems likely. However one of them may be forced out of F1 should Red Bull opt for an outsider to rack up points for the constructors’ championship alongside Max Verstappen. The other Red Bull juniors are not yet Formula 1-ripe. Most likely Daniel Ticktum could have been, but he has just lost his place in the Red Bull Junior program after he could not prevail in Japan. The performances of Lucas Auer in the Super Formula are probably not enough to convince Helmut Marko.
Williams F1 Team: George Russell is tied and set by a long-term contract. Robert Kubica brings money and therefore has some chances to renew his contract. But money is on offer by many aspiring F1 drivers such as for example the teams’ current test driver Nicholas Latifi. The choice at this moment is pointing in the direction of Latifi after a so-far disappointing season of Robert Kubica.
- Photocredit: Formula 1 World Championship Ltd.
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