The 2023 F1 grid is finally settled. We've said goodbye to Sebastian Vettel, Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo, but welcome Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri as rookies and Nico Hülkenberg returns after two seasons away.
2023 F1 drivers and teams
Lance Stroll will race at Bahrain Grand Prix
Updated: Thursday 2nd March 2023 at 17:20. The Aston Martin F1 team has confirmed that Lance Stroll will return to race at the first Grand Prix of 2023, after successfully recovering from a wrist injury.
Stroll missed the whole of pre-season testing thanks to a bike accident, and was replaced by reserve driver, F2 champion Felipe Drugovich in the three-day test. Drugovich was due to take over should Stroll not recover in time, but Aston Martin confirmed today (2nd March) that the Canadian would make the grid.
Updated: Monday 27th February at 10:00. Felipe Drugovich will make his F1 debut at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix if Lance Stroll is unable to recover enough from the wrist injury he sustained in a pre-season accident.
Stroll missed the whole of pre-season testing after the training crash, which happened when he was on a bicycle.
Rumours had spread that Sebastian Vettel might be about to make a sensational return to the sport from which he retired at the end of last season, but Aston Martin confirmed over the weekend that it’s reserve driver, and current F2 champion, Drugovich will instead step in if required.
Logan Sargeant to use number 2 in F1
Updated: Wendesday 30th November 2022 at 15:25. 2023 F1 rookie Logan Sargeant will race with the number two on his Williams car. The newest driver on the grid, one of three rookies for the 2023 season, joining Oscar Piastri and Nyck De Vries.
F1 drivers have to pick a permanent race number to use in F1, and have had to since the beginning of the 2014 season. The number two was previously used by Stoffel Vandoorne when he raced at McLaren, but since two seasons have passed since Vandoorne last raced in F1 the number was open for a new driver to pick.
77. Valtteri Bottas
24. Zhou Guanyu
21. Nyck de Vries
22. Yuki Tsunoda
31. Esteban Ocon
10. Peirre Gasly
14. Fernando Alonso
18. Lance Stroll
16. Charles Leclerc
55. Carlos Sainz Jr.
20. Kevin Magnussen
27. Nico Hülkenberg
81. Oscar Piastri
4. Lando Norris
44. Lewis Hamilton
63. George Russell
Red Bull Racing
11. Sergio Perez
33. Max Verstappen
23. Alex Albon
2. Logan Sargeant
Daniel Ricciardo confirmed as Red Bull reserve driver
Updated: Wednesday 23rd November 2022 at 14:00. Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 future is settled for now, as his expected return to Red Bull as reserve driver is signed and sealed following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
By returning to Red Bull, Ricciardo’s F1 journey comes full circle, but for now he is set to spend at least the next 12 months on the sidelines, where he will work primarily behind the scenes in the simulator.
The Australian initially left the constructors’ champions in 2018, citing the need for a new challenge as he joined Renault with a view to bringing the French manufacturer into the title fight.
Two years later he moved to McLaren, but never quite managed to get to grips with the car in two seasons that were redeemed only by his memorable win at Monza in 2021. After being comprehensively outperformed by team-mate Lando Norris in 2022, Ricciardo was let go by McLaren in August.
Without a clear path back onto the grid in 2023, Ricciardo’s options looked to be restricted to a reserve role, and so it has proved with this announcement. He was initially linked with a move to Mercedes in a similar capacity but has ultimately decided to sign with Red Bull.
Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner said: “It is great to bring Daniel back into the Red Bull family. He has enormous talent and such a brilliant character; I know the whole factory is excited to be welcoming him home.”
Ricciardo said: “The smile says it all, I’m truly excited to be coming back home to Oracle Red Bull Racing as their Third Driver in 2023.
“The ability to contribute to and be surrounded by the best team in F1 is hugely appealing, whilst also giving me some time to recharge and refocus. I can’t wait to be with the team and support with simulator work, testing sessions and commercial activities. Let’s go!”
Logan Sargeant confirmed at Williams F1 for 2023
Updated: Monday 21st November. Logan Sargeant will race in Formula 1 for Williams in 2023 after securing enough points for an FIA superlicence. Sargeant finished fourth in the F2 championship following a shakey season finale at Abu Dhabi where the American managed a sixth and a fifth. He had needed to finish in the top five of the championship to gain the requesite licence points. Sargeant took part in free practice for Williams at the final race and will drive for the team at the Young Driver test this week.
The confirmation means that the 2023 grid is now set, following last week's news that Nico Hulkenberg would replace Mick Schumacher at Haas.
Hülkenberg replaces Schumacher at Haas F1
Updated: Thursday 17th November at 09:15. Nico Hülkenberg will return to full-time F1 racing for the first time since 2019 after signing to replace Mick Schumacher at Haas. The German, who began his career in 2010 with Williams, has not raced a full season of Formula 1, or any other form of motorsport, since he left Renault at the end of 2019, but will now partner Kevin Magnussen in 2023.
While he hasn't raced a complete season in three years, Hülkenberg has regularly taken part in grands prix, deputising at Racing Point and Aston Martin several times for drivers who have contracted Covid-19. His most recent appearances were deputising for Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin for the first two rounds of the 2022 season.
Speaking of his return, Hülkenberg, who has raced in F1 181 times and won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2015 with Porsche, said: "I’m very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023. I feel like I never really left Formula 1.
"I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again and want to thank Gene Haas and Günther Steiner for their trust. We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all the other teams in the midfield, and I cannot wait to join that battle again.”
The news means that the F1 grid for 2023 is now filled, subject to Logan Sargeant obtaining enough points for an FIA Superlicense. That means that Schumacher, who raced with Haas for two seasons, will now have to either take up a reserve driver role or look elsewhere for racing in next year.
Logan Sargeant to race for Williams in 2023
Updated: Monday 24th October 2022 at 16:45. American F2 racer Logan Sargeant will step up to race in Formula 1 in 2023 – as long as he gets enough super licence points.
Team Principal Jost Capito confirmed that Sargeant, who currently sits third in the F2 standings with two wins this season, will become the first American to race in F1 since Alexander Rossi if the rest of his season goes to plan.
Sargeant made his F1 debut at COTA this weekend, replacing the outgoing Nicholas Latifi in FP1, thus becoming the first American driver to take part in an F1 weekend since 2015.
In order to achieve the requirements Sargeant will need to finish either fifth in the standings or sixth if he has a clean last two races and avoids any penalty points. As part of his preparation he will complete two more FP1 sessions in 2022, at Mexico and Abu Dhabi, as well as running in the end-of-season Young Driver Test.
De Vries gets full-time F1 drive with AlphaTauri for 2023
Updated: Saturday 8th October at 11:00. 2021 Formule E World Champion Nyck de Vries has secured his first full-time F1 drive after agreeing a contract to replace Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauiri.
The 2019 F2 champion's chances of a F1 drive seemed to have gradually ebbed away in the three seasons since he won his junior series title, and contracts with Mercedes in Formula E and Toyota in the World Endurance Championship seemed to suggest a different future.
But he replaced the ill Alex Albon at Williams for the Italian Grand Prix, managing an impressive points-scoring finish, and ever since rumours have been rife about a potential F1 deal.
Many had expected him to rejoin Williams, but with a deal for Colton Herta to join AlphaTauri dead the Italian team moved quickly to secure the services of de Vries for 2023.
The move means that only seats at Williams and Haas remain unfilled for 2023.
Gasly finally joins Alpine for 2023
Updated: Saturday 8th October at 10:50. After several months of speculation Alpine has finally confirmed that 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly will race for the French team in 2023.
Gasly had been rumoured to be set to replace the Aston Martin-boung Fernando Alonso since the Spaniard's move set the 2023 F1 driver market alight over the Hungarian Grand Prix. But with AlphaTauri failing in an attempt to bring in IndyCar star Colton Herta to replace him the deal seemed to have stalled.
But just before qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix the team confirmed that Gasly will partner Esteban Ocon at the team in 2023.
The move brings to an end an association with Red Bull teams that has been part of Gasly's F1 career since the beginning. Every one of Gasly's 103 F1 starts has come for a Red Bull team since he joined F1 toward the end of the 2017 season. He stepped up from the then Toro Rosso to the main Red Bull team for 2019, only to be relegated back to the junior team halfway through the season.
But since that switch Gasly has repaired his reputation, and even took his first ever F1 victory at Monza in 2020.
Zhou Guanyu stays at Alfa Romeo for 2023
Updated: Tuesday 27th September at 10:45. Zhou Guanyu has been retained by Alfa Romeo for the 2023 Formula 1 season. F1’s first Chinese driver has had a consistent rookie season. He’s scored points on three occasions so far, and currently sits 17th in the 2022 drivers’ standings. Although he was comprehensively outpaced by his team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the start of the year, Zhou has closed the gap on the experienced Finn as the year has gone on, and Alfa Romeo has clearly seen enough to grant the 23-year-old at least one more season in the car.
Following the announcement Zhou said: “I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season. Making it to Formula One was a dream come true and the feeling of competing for the first time in a race will live with me forever.
“There is more that I want to achieve in this sport and with the team, and the hard work we have put together since the start of the year is just the first step towards where we want to be next season. There is still a lot to learn, a lot to develop but I am confident in our work: I am looking forward to the next chapter of our story together.”
Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur said: “I am looking forward to continuing working with Zhou. From day one with the team, at the Abu Dhabi test last year, he has impressed me with his approach to work and this is always a very positive trait. We knew he was quick, but the way he adapted to Formula One in such a short time has been one of the best surprises of our season.”
“He has had the humility to ask questions and learn, from the engineers as well as Valtteri, and the intelligence to apply all the information he got to improve race after race. He will have this experience to draw on next season, and I am sure he will make another step forward as we continue to grow our team.”
Nicholas Latifi to leave Williams at the end of 2022
Updated: Friday 23rd September 2022 at 11:30. Nicholas Latifi will leave Williams Racing at the end of the 2022 F1 season after three years with the British team. Latifi made his Formula 1 debut with the Grove outfit in 2020 following a number of free practice and other test sessions with Williams the previous year, and in private outings with Force India and Renault before that.
Latifi said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Williams Racing - all the people back at the factory and those I work with trackside - for the last three years. My initial F1 debut was postponed due to the pandemic but we eventually got going in Austria and, although we have not achieved the results together we hoped we would, it’s still been a fantastic journey. Getting those first points in Hungary last year was a moment I’ll never forget, and I will move onto the next chapter of my career with special memories of my time with this dedicated team. I know none of us will stop putting in every effort until the end of the season."
Latifi’s team-mate Alex Albon will remain with the team in 2023, with Williams saying it “will announce its full 2023 driver line-up in due course”.
AlphaTauri retains Tsunoda for F1 2023
Updated: Thursday 22nd September 2022 at 09:15. AlphaTauri has announced that Japanese racer Yuki Tsunoda will remain at the team for the 2023 following what the team calls a “successful” first two seasons in Formula 1.
Tsunoda has now raced 36 times for the team has at times had an up and down time in the championship and currently lags team-mate Pierre Gasly in the standings, having accrued half the number of points of his team-mate.
The news does raise questions as to whether the team is paving the way for a rumoured departure of Gasly. Retaining Tsunoda would bring some continuity to the team if it did bring through another Red Bull junior driver, having recently failed in attempts to get IndyCar star Colton Herta an F1 superlicence.
Speaking after the news Tsunoda said: “I want to say a huge thank you to Red Bull, Honda and Scuderia AlphaTauri for continuing to give me the opportunity to drive in F1.
“Having moved to Italy last year, to be closer to the factory, I really feel part of the team and am glad that I get to carry on racing with them in 2023. Of course, our 2022 season isn’t over yet and we’re still pushing hard in the midfield battle, so I’m fully focused on finishing it on a high and then we will look forward to next year.”
Franz Tost added: “As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this season. The pace he has shown recently is clear evidence of a steep learning curve, which proves he deserves a seat in F1, and I still expect some strong results from him in the last six races of 2022.
“As I always say, a driver needs at least three years to fully get to grips with Formula 1, so I’m pleased he’s been given the time to show his full potential. In addition, it’s a testament to Dr. Marko and his driver programme that we’re able to bring these young talents up from the junior categories and develop them. I’d like to join Yuki in thanking Red Bull, AlphaTauri as well as Honda, for their continuous support and for allowing him to stay with us for another year.”
Piastri replaces Ricciardo at McLaren
Updated: Friday 2nd September 2022 at 15:00. It has finally been confirmed that Oscar Piastri will replace the outgoing Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren for 2023. Following weeks of rumour and speculation surroudning the 2021 Formula 2 champion, the current Alpine reserve driver will make the jump into an F1 race seat next season.
Piastri’s dramatic fall-out with Alpine was played out in public over the past month, following Fernando Alonso’s shock switch to Aston Martin. And it seems that his angry response to Alpine’s attempt to confirm him as its driver in 2023 was the result of a contract already being in place with McLaren. We now know that contract is a multi-year deal.
Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren F1 exit confirmed
Updated: Wednesday 24th August 2022 at 16:00. Daniel Ricciardo will leave McLaren at the end of the 2022 season, the driver and team have confirmed.
The announcement follows a summer break full of speculation that the Australian’s time with McLaren in F1 would be coming an end sooner than he had planned.
His contract was set to run until the end of the 2023 season, but a run of poor performances, and the seemingly impending arrival of Oscar Piastri at McLaren all but sealed his fate.
Ricciardo says he remains motivated to race in F1, and there are options on the grid at Alpine, Hass, Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri and Williams.
Alex Albon to drive for Williams F1 in 2023
Updated: Wednesday 3rd August 2022 at 15:35. Williams and Alexander Albon have confirmed that the Thai driver will continue to race in F1 with Williams for “2023 and beyond”.
After impressing in his first season at the Grove outfit, Albon could probably have looked to move to a team further up the grid. But despite Williams struggling to pull away from the back row, it seams both Albon and the team are happy enough with each other that they will continue.
This rather straightforward news contrasts to the situation at Alpine. It had been thought that Oscar Piastri might move to Williams to partner Albon or team-mate Nicholas Latifi in 2023 on loan from Alpine. But now it seems that Piastri drive for neither Williams or Alpine.
This opens the door for Williams’ own young driver, Logan Sargeant, to make his F1 debut. The American has impressed in F2 this season so far, overcoming a slightly difficult start to sit third in the standings with eight races to go.
Oscar Piastri and Alpine go to war over 2023 F1 seat
Updated: Wednesday 3rd August 2022 at 09:05. After Fernando Alonso announced he was leaving the Alpine F1 team to join Aston Martin for 2023, kicking off the 2023 F1 silly season in style, we thought that would be the biggest shock of the summer. It turned out we only needed to wait a couple of days for silly season to properly earn its name.
On Tuesday (2nd August) Alpine announced that, as many had expected, its junior driver and 2021 F2 champion Oscar Piastri would be stepping up to a full-time drive for 2023. This was shortly after it had confirmed that it had a contract in place with Piastri for 2023, among widespread rumours that he had agreed a deal with McLaren to switch teams and replace fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo.
Just a matter of hours later, Piastri took to his social media channels to deny that he would be driving for Alpine in the strongest possible terms. In a post on social media Piastri said: “I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Where this leaves an understandably reeling Alpine for 2023, is very much an unknown. But in two days it seems that the future of not only Alpine’s driver lineup, but also that of McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 career have suddenly been thrown up in the air.
As we begin this article 13 of the 20 seats in F1 for next year have technically been filled, with four teams’ line-ups fully confirmed. Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren have two contracted drivers for 2023. With Sebastian Vettel retiring and Fernando Alonso replacing him we can also assume that Aston Martin’s line-up is also established, as it remains unlikely that the team, owned by Lawrence Stroll, will sack his son, Lance.
Earlier this season Red Bull announced that Sergio Perez had resigned, just after his victory at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen already signed to a long-term deal. Mercedes looks to have a sewn-up its driver pairing, Lewis Hamilton’s will-he-won’t-he decision making process about returning in 2022, following the season finale at Abu Dhabi in 2021, resulted in a two-year deal and team-mate George Russell’s contract also runs beyond 2022.
McLaren has been the centre of some interest in the summer, given Daniel Ricciardo’s mixed form, but the man who brought the team its first victory in a decade at Monza last year has a deal in place for 2023, alongside Lando Norris. Ferrari handed Carlos Sainz Jr. an extra two years, to the end of 2024, earlier this year, with Charles Leclerc already signed to a hefty long term contract.
That leaves the top of the championship relatively fixed, but there is much intrigue remaining on the rest of the grid. While several of the remaining places are ostensibly filled, there’s always room for maneuverer in F1 contract talks.
What we can safely say is that we expect Esteban Ocon’s contract at Alpine and Valtteri Bottas’ deal at Alfa Romeo to be honoured. Both drivers are at the centre of their respective team’s long term plans. Kevin Magnussen also agreed to rejoin Haas on a two year contract earlier this year and has impressed, leading the team to some of its best ever results.
Pierre Gasly agreed to remain at AlphaTauri for 2023 but, with his chances of a move to Red Bull looking slim for now, he could be tempted to move should a seat suddenly become available at a top team.
Beyond those confirmed deals, we expect to see Lance Stroll continue at Aston Martin, and with the departure of Fernando Alonso, Alpine is expected to be able to move its junior driver, and 2021 F2 Champion, Oscar Piastri into a full-time F1 seat.
And that, for now, is all we really know. The second seat at Alfa Romeo could well be Zhou Guanyu’s, given he’s impressed in his first season and the marketing pull he brings in his home country. AlphaTauri has not confirmed if it will extend Yuki Tsunoda’s contract, which ends this year, although the Japanese driver has said he is “hopeful”. His position down in 15th in the championship, and with such a long line of Red Bull junior drivers waiting to step up, may make that position perilous.
Williams is the only team with no drivers confirmed for 2023. Both Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi’s have deals for just 2022. Albon has impressed this year, and will be eyeing a move to a team higher up the championship, while Latifi’s future F1 seems less certain. Mick Schumacher also has no contract for next year, but given Haas’s success and Ferrari’s interest in him, you imagine he has a good chance of remaining for 2023.
As for teams, we can expect few or no changes for next year. Andretti is still looking to join the grid, but would not be ready for 2023, Audi is expected to arrive in partnership with Alfa Romeo in 2026 and Porsche’s very un-secret deal with Red Bull should be tied up soon.
We’ll keep you updated with all the changes to the driver market in F1 for 2023 right here, and on GRR. So keep an eye out on our social channels for the latest news.
Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.
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