These seven drivers have expiring F1 contracts in 2023

F1 News

Seven drivers have expiring F1 contract
3 January at 13:02
Last update 3 January at 13:06
  • GPblog.com

The Formula 1 season will start in two months and so teams are preparing for a challenging year. The shoulders of as many as seven drivers will be under extra pressure as they have expiring contracts. Which drivers can still be found on the grid in 2024?

Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton still has the big dream of winning his eighth world title and thus taking the record, which he shares for now with Michael Schumacher, into his own hands. However, this is not going to be easy as Mercedes will have to come a long way. The team was well behind Ferrari and Red Bull Racing for most of 2022, requiring it to make big strides.

However, the Briton has full confidence in his team and announced last calendar year that he is eager to extend his commitment with Mercedes. While Toto Wolff is also open to a longer partnership, Mercedes, with its track record, certainly does not seem to want to turn Hamilton away. It therefore seems likely that the seven-time world champion will be one of the first drivers off this list.

Sargeant

Logan Sargeant is entering his first season at Williams. The American talent does not seem to be able to do much worse than Nicholas Latifi, who hardly brought in any points for his team in recent seasons. At the same time, Williams is still not getting it together to prove itself in Formula 1 and looks set for another tough year.

The driver will get the chance to develop himself in the lee, but will have to convince the formation with his one-year contract that he is the person for the future. Indeed, with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo behind the scenes, who is a reserve driver at Red Bull next race year, and Mick Schumacher, who plays the same role at Mercedes, Williams has plenty to choose from.

De Vries

Nyck de Vries is AlphaTauri's hope in anxious days. The Dutchman had to wait years for his chance in Formula 1, but in the meantime managed to win both the Formula E and Formula 2 championships. As a result, he already proved extensively that he is ready for the next step in his career. However, it remains to be seen whether he can handle the pressure of next season.

Initially,he seems to have the ideal character to take the next step with AlphaTauri, but he will have to show that right away in 2023. After all, his new employer gave him a contract of just one season, so he will have to be there straight away. At the same time, AlphaTauri proved in recent years that it does not simply part with a driver and so De Vries is expected to be given time to develop next year as well.

Tsunoda

AlphaTauri will not only look critically at De Vries' performance, as Yuki Tsunuda also has only a one-season contract left. However, the Japanese is under more pressure than his new teammate. He did not manage to fully prove himself over the past two seasons and therefore has a real chance of being in his last year with his current team.

While his performance was quite behind Pierre Gasly's, Tsunoda also had some strange on-track actions in 2023. His team spoke out about this several times last year, sending a clear signal towards the Japanese driver. If he fails to live up to expectations again this calendar year, he should probably look for another challenge.

Magnussen

Last year, Kevin Magnussen was suddenly given the opportunity to enter Formula 1 just before the start of the season. This was because Haas F1 bade a hasty farewell to Nikita Mazepin, who had to leave due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It meant Magnussen barely had preparation time to start the season, but with his fifth-place finish in Bahrain, he immediately set the tone.

For the time being, therefore, there seems to be little in the way of the American racing stable extending his contract. However, with his new teammate Nico Hulkenberg, who will take Schumacher's place, he has a driver with qualities as a teammate. In 2023, it will therefore come down to this. If he manages to produce the same next season, a new commitment with Haas is a matter of time.

Hulkenberg

For Hulkenberg, the opportunity to secure a permanent place in Formula 1 suddenly came along at the end of last year. The German decided to respond to the interest and talk to Haas about the possibilities at the team. The talks got him so excited that he became convinced that the team can make great strides in Formula 1 in the coming years and move away from the bottom places.

However, he himself will also have to perform, because with a contract of only one year, he will hardly get time to get used to the new Formula 1 cars. It is not for nothing, therefore, that Hulkenberg is already busy behind the scenes preparing for the new season. Indeed, if he manages to show himself positively this season, the 35-year-old Hulkenberg could be around for a few more years in the motorsport class.

Zhou

For Zhou, somewhat the same applies as Tsunoda, with the big difference that the Chinese has only had one season in Formula 1. The talent entered the year hopeful with a tenth-place finish in Bahrain, but then it took until mid-June before he achieved another top-ten spot. At the end of the year, he ended up with six points, which was 43 points less than teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Over the next 12 months, Alfa Romeo will have the opportunity to scrutinise its partnership with Zhou. Indeed, the formation wants to move forward in the near future and needs drivers who can support its ambitions. A clear task awaits for Zhou, therefore, to get the most out of his car, as the first ever Chinese in Formula 1 will otherwise risk Alfa Romeo parting with him.