STR Motorsports

A Quick Update On The Drivers Market

The Drivers Market is about to go through a major shake up following Nico Hulkenberg’s surprise switch to Renault. This leaves a vacancy at Force India. Several drivers have been in talks with them including youngster Alfonso Celis Jr and Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein.

Curiosity has risen about who will be Hulkenberg’s teammate next season. Renault are most likely to promote academy driver Esteban Ocon from Manor. If not, Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer’s performances will be analysed and either of them will be chosen.

Jenson Button has decided to take a sabbatical from Formula One and former GP2 Champion Stoffel Vandoorne will replace him at McLaren. This doesn’t mean that Jenson will have no involvement with the sport. He has signed a contract which states that he will be the Development Driver of the team for 2017 and has a chance to return to the grid for McLaren in 2018.

Haas are most likely to retain Romain Grosjean for 2017 while Esteban Gutierrez’s seat may be in jeopardy. Esteban has been underperforming this season and hasn’t scored a single point compared to his teammate’s 29. But there still may be a chance. Since Ferrari is Haas’ parent team, it can influence Haas to decide it’s second driver in Ferrari’s favour. Ferrari can go ahead with Jean-Eric Vergne or Gutierrez. To keep the Mexican sponsors like Claro happy, Ferrari might have to choose the latter.

The announcement of Lance Stroll to Williams is imminent and it is believable that Vatteri Bottas will partner him. If either of Wehrlein or Ocon move to another team, Rio Haryanto will be Manor’s first choice to fill the vacant seat ahead of Alexander Rossi.

There are high chances that Sauber will retain it’s current line up following the footsteps of Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Toro Rosso. If this is the way everything is going to pan out, talented drivers such as Alex Rossi, Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovanazzi might miss out on a Formula One seat.

Team Driver Driver
Mercedes AMG Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg
Red Bull Racing Daniel Ricciardo Max Verstappen
Scuderia Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Kimi Raikonnen
Sahara Force India Sergio Perez TBC
Williams Martini Racing TBC TBC
McLaren-Honda Fernando Alonso Stoffel Vandoorne
Scuderia Toro Rosso Daniil Kvyat Carlos Sainz Jr.
Haas F1 Team TBC TBC
Renault Sport Nico Hulkenberg TBC
Manor-Mercedes TBC TBC
Sauber-Ferrari TBC TBC

Table Updated On Oct 29 2016

Who do you think will fill up the remaining seats? Comment below and let me know.


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About the author

Soumil Arora

14 year old motorsport fanatic, blogger and host. A foodie who loves to Play Football, Travel, Read and Race!
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