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F1 2023 drivers: What we know and what is still rumored about the grid – Insider

2022 lineup (current championship standing): Max Verstappen (1), Sergio Perez (3)
2023 drivers under contract: Verstappen, Perez
What we know: Both drivers are under contract for the 2023 season. Verstappen, the defending F1 champion, signed an extension in March that will keep him with Red Bull at least through the 2028 season. In May, the team announced a new extension for Perez to keep him with the team through 2024.
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Charles Leclerc (2), Carlos Sainz (5)
2023 drivers under contract: Leclerc, Sainz
What we know: Both drivers are under contract for the 2023 season. Sainz signed an extension in April to keep him with Ferrari through the 2024 season. Leclerc is also under contract through the 2024 season. However, one report says Leclerc can opt out of the deal at the end of this season if Ferrari finishes fourth or lower in the standings. That seems unlikely.
2022 lineup (current championship standing): George Russell (4), Lewis Hamilton (6)
2023 drivers under contract: Russell, Hamilton
What we know: Hamilton is under contract through the 2023 season, having signed a two-year extension during the 2021 season. Russell, in his first season with Mercedes, is signed through 2024. 
One intriguing rumor that is making its way around the garages, according to F1TV, is Daniel Ricciardo potentially signing with Mercedes as a backup driver for next season if he can’t land a seat.
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Esteban Ocon (8), Fernando Alonso (9)
2023 drivers under contract: Ocon
What we know: Ocon is under contract with Alpine through the 2024 season. Alonso announced that he will be driving for Aston Martin in 2023 to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel.
Alpine’s second seat put the silly in “Silly Season.” After both Alpine and McLaren claimed to have prospect Oscar Piastri under contract for next season, F1 officials ruled in favor of McLaren. According to Sky Sports, Alpine may have missed a deadline to activate a clause that would have kept him under contract for 2023. 
Initial rumors had Alpine reuniting with Daniel Ricciardo in an indirect driver swap. Mick Schumacher and Mercedes reserve driver Nick de Vries had also been mentioned. However, now it appears that Pierre Gasly will be on the move to Alpine, from AlphaTauri.
According to Mark Hughes and Scott Mitchell-Malm of The Race, Alpine has agreed to buy out the remaining year of Gasly’s contract with AlphaTauri, opening the door for him to move to the French team. 
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Lando Norris (7), Daniel Ricciardo (13)
2023 drivers under contract: Norris, Oscar Piastri
What we know: Norris signed an extension earlier this year that will keep him with McLaren through at least 2025. 
Over the summer break, the expected divorce between Ricciardo and McLaren became official, opening a seat for Oscar Piastri now that F1 officials ruled that McLaren’s contract was valid. According to F1TV, one rumor in the garage area is that Ricciardo could sign with Mercedes as a backup driver for next season if he can’t land a seat.
Several other young drivers had been linked to Ricciardo’s seat for either 2023 or 2024, including IndyCar drivers Pato O’Ward (already drives for McLaren), Colton Herta (recently test drove for McLaren), and Alex Palou (signed to join McLaren in 2023). 
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Valtteri Bottas (10), Zhou Guanyu (17)
2023 drivers under contract: Bottas
What we know: Bottas, in his first year with Alfa Romeo, is under contract for 2023, and both sides seem happy with the move. Zhou, in his first F1 season, is not signed for 2023. However, he has driven better than his place in the standings might suggest, thanks to some bad luck. He is expected to remain with the team next season.
The one complication for Zhou could be Theo Pourchaire, who is second in the F2 standings and is expected to get an FP1 practice session with Alfa Romeo later this season. However, according to Lawrence Barretto of F1 TV, Zhou “has moved well clear and is favorite to get a second year.” 
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Kevin Magnussen (11), Mick Schumacher (15)
2023 drivers under contract: Magnussen
What we know: Magnussen is under contract for the 2023 season, having signed with the team on the eve of the schedule to replace Nikita Mazepin. Schumacher is not signed for next season. 
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the team would decide on Schumacher’s future during the summer break. However, German outlet RTL reported that Steiner called off negotiations with Schumacher. With Aston Martin picking Fernando Alonso over Schumacher — Sebastian Vettel’s choice of replacement — the youngster is in danger of being out of F1 in 2023.
According to Nate Saunders of ESPN, Steiner called Ricciardo before the summer break, suggesting they discussed his interest in joining the team, although that has seemingly cooled recently. Lawrence Barretto said former F1 drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi “are very much in the mix.” Hulkenberg is currently Aston Martin’s reserve driver and Giovinazzi is competing in Formula E.
Steiner said at the Dutch GP that they are talking to “everybody,” and no decision has been made on Schumacher. 
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Pierre Gasly (14), Yuki Tsunoda (16)
2023 drivers under contract: Gasly (maybe not)
What we know: According to Mark Hughes and Scott Mitchell-Malm of The Race, Alpine has agreed to buy out the remaining year of Gasly’s contract with AlphaTauri, opening the door for him to move to the French team. 
Tsunoda’s contract expires at the end of the season, and it is still up in the air if he will be back with Red Bull’s sister team next year. Team advisor Helmut Marko recently called Tsunoda a “problem child” over his in-race radio outbursts. Team principal Franz Tost said if he can eliminate some of the crashes, he has “a good chance” to remain with the team.
If a seat were to open on Red Bull’s sister team, Marko suggested that their junior drivers would have a strong shot to fill one, saying, “We have our own program. Of course, we prefer our own people.” F2 driver Liam Lawson could be next in line. He is a Red Bull junior driver and recently completed his first F1 practice with AlphaTauri. 
AlphaTauri wants American IndyCar driver Colton Herta to fill one seat, according to several reports, but there is a catch. He does not have enough points for a SuperLicense and would need an exemption. Some teams are opposing that move. 
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Sebastian Vettel (12), Lance Stroll (18)
2023 drivers under contract: Stroll, Fernando Alonso
What we know: Aston Martin announced during the summer break that two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso would replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel next season under a multi-year contract. Lance Stroll is under contract through 2023, and as long as his dad continues to write the checks, he will be with the team longer than that. 
2022 lineup (current championship standing): Alex Albon (19), Nicholas Latifi (20)
2023 drivers under contract: Albon
What we know: Williams announced that Albon signed a multi-year extension to remain with the team, as expected. Latifi is not under contract and is expected to be out at the end of the year.
According to Nate Saunders of ESPN, Williams was one of the teams that already reached out to Daniel Ricciardo about next season. 
Several young drivers have also been linked to Williams for next year, including American Logan Sargeant, who is third in the F2 standings and a member of the Williams Driver Academy. Others include F2 championship leader Felipe Drugovich and Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries. 
 
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