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F1 2022

What Alonso's Aston Martin switch means for the 2023 F1 grid

The silly season might still be playing out in F1, but it looks like the biggest shock of all has already happened following news of Fernando Alonso's switch to Aston Martin for 2023. What impact will this have on the rest of the driver market?

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To news overview © XPBimages

With more than half a year to go until the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season, there are still six seats to be filled after Fernando Alonso's announcement at Aston Martin, with the most coveted cockpit 'open' at Alpine.

'Open' is in inverted commas here, because the fact that Oscar Piastri will be there is an open secret after Alonso's departure.

The retirement of Sebastian Vettel from Formula 1 sparked the seat race, but just as quickly as the market was thrown open, Aston Martin closed it again by confirming Alonso. Suddenly, much more becomes clear.

Nyck de Vries' chances of finding an F1 seat seem to have been dashed. He was mentioned as a candidate at Aston Martin, but that vacancy was only open for four days.

Realistically, there is nowhere else he can go. Maybe Williams? Nicholas Latifi's position there seems to be under threat, but on the other hand his sponsorship dollars would still be welcome there.

The list of potential names at the iconic team is very long anyway. Alex Albon is performing well and they will probably want to keep him.

Will the driver market explode one last time?

Elsewhere, AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda is starting to make some mistakes again after a good start to the season.

Should Red Bull decide not to continue with the Japanese driver, there may be a promotion opportunity for Albon, although there are plenty of Red Bull juniors in the Formula 2 ranks ready to make the switch too.

Another key driver is Mick Schumacher. He has suddenly started to perform at Haas F1, making it seem more obvious that the American outfit will want to hold on to him. Much, however, depends on what Ferrari wants with him.

If it is judged that Schumacher is a good fit there, he will stay. The 'higher-up' opportunity lies on paper at Alfa Romeo, but in fact Zhou Guanyu is doing everything expected from a rookie there. A contract extension seems obvious.

In the overview below, all confirmed drivers are listed per team. Alongside the name of Daniel Ricciardo there is an asterisk. He has a contract for 2023, but reportedly both parties can get out of it under certain conditions.

The Australian's performance has not been entirely satisfactory to McLaren, so a vacancy may become available there. That could make the driver market explode once again.

Confirmed 2023 F1 drivers

Team Driver Driver
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton George Russell
Red Bull Max Verstappen Sergio Perez
Ferrari Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz
McLaren Lando Norris Daniel Ricciardo*
Alpine Esteban Ocon -
Aston Martin Fernando Alonso Lance Stroll
Alfa Romeo Valtteri Bottas -
AlphaTauri Pierre Gasly -
Williams - -
Haas F1 Kevin Magnussen -

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