Last Updated – 03 December 2016
Our editor assesses where drivers could slot into with the remaining seats available for 2017 and who are the remaining drivers under treat. Their replacements and the winners and losers. For updates scroll to bottom all information was correct at time of orginal posting.
What we know
- Lewis Hamilton to remain at Mercedes
- Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to remain at Ferrari
- Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen to remain at Red Bull
- Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg to remain at Force India
- Felipe Massa to retire from Formula One
- Stoffel Vandoorne to replace Jenson Button who taking a ‘sabbatical’
- Alonso remains with McLaren
- Carlos Sainz remains with Toro Rosso
Who could fit where?
MERCEDES / MANOR (3 SEAT)
Esteban Ocon – Ocon is a driver who has backing from Mercedes and Renault could be a option for the team. He shown his talent a bit and looks to be a driver who could deliver for the future. But is whether Mercedes take a gamble on an relavtivley new driver or give him more time at Force India to devlop, where he has already got a seat for 2017.
Pascal Wehrlein – Mercedes test driver who raced for Manor this season. The German has had a solid season taking points for the team. He is managed by the Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and given their plans to build that into what I describe as the Mercedes Independent team this will strengthen their relationship. Wehrlein would be the better fit for Mercedes as he has driven during the tyre tests this season.
RENAULT (2 seats)
Kevin Magnussen – Magnussen is a key player for the team as he has years of experience as a test driver for McLaren. This season Renault have had a difficult season so the Dane will be a key player in building the success of the team. Plus he seems to suit that team well and fill the team leader role very well.
Jolyon Palmer – I think Renault have been forced to keep their current line-up after they moved a bit too late in this year’s driver market. Palmer is still a driver who is developing his driving but he if he got a decent car we could see his potential and next year may be make or break for him.
SAUBER (2 seats)
Felipe Nasr – Sauber are in a situation where they need drivers to pay their way still. Nasr brings huge amounts of funding from Brazil so he is important to the teams future.
Marcus Ericson – Ericson I feel is likely to say because he is funded by backers who have helped keep the team going through the financial issues they have been helping the team stay in business.
WILLIAMS (2 Seats)
Valtteri Bottas – With Massa’s retirement the team you would think are looking to retain Bottas to have some stability in the team. Bottas will be in his fifth season of Formula One so is now and now has to be the leader. He is also able to get some good results for the team.
Alex Lynn – I’ve already linked him to Manor but Williams would be a better fit as he is the teams test driver. He would be a stability candidate and it would give him is debut in the sport to prove himself as a driver. Plus it would be good for the sport to retain two British drivers on the grid.
Lance Stroll – The Canadian will be able to race next season after gaining enough points to qualify for a superliecence next year. He is in my view the risky candidate given his age an in experience in single seaters. But with his fathers backing of the team he could be the key name.
Sergio Perez – Perez has been a driver who has been able to get the most out of his car and delver results for the team this season. Despite being a pay driver he is there on merit because he can drive well. He has backing from Mexico which for a smaller team is key to their success.
Nico Hulkenberg – I thing with the regulation changes that Force India will want to stick with there great line up. Hulkenberg is a good driver but he hasn’t matched Perez on track but he has the experince from being in the sport since 2009 with three teams and has proved he can win he won Le Mans last year.
Haas (2 Seats)
Romain Grosjean – Grosjean has this season proved to be the team’s leader. He has scored points early on but the team’s lack of experience in the sport. He has become a very good driver following a difficult early career when he had lots of crashes. His return to the sport has over the last few years has made him a hot target thou he will need to work harder to prove himself.
Esteban Gutierrez – While Haas would like a American driver Gutierrez is the next best thing. He is another pay driver but I think he could get some good results if he had a car. Gutierrez has the ability to drive but he has never had the car and has this year been not able to get the results.
Toro Rosso (1 seat)
Pierre Glasy – Glasy is a Red Bull young driver who has had a very good season pilling the pressure on Daniil Kvyat who has lost his way a bit. Toro Rosso is a development team for Red Bull and often we have seen one chance your out and Kvyat is that driver.
Who could be out
Daniil Kvyat – the Russian appears to have lost his way since he was demoted to Toro Rosso. You can forget how good he can be but F1 is a cut throat sport and you need think about his results at Red Bull
- Jorg Zander may return to Formula One next year with Sauber
- Ron Dennis could leave McLaren at the end of thhe season
- Marcus Ericsson says he is “most likely to remain with Sauber next season
UPDATES / OTHER CHANGES
- Nico Hulkenberg was annouced as a Renault driver on 14th October.
- Daniil Kyvat was annouced as remaining with Toro Rosso
- Lance Stroll as predicted was annouced as partnering Valtteri Botas by Williams on 3rd November
- Nico Rosberg is retiring
- Romain Grosjean partnered by Kevin Magnussen at Haas
- Jolyon Palmer remains with Renault
- Marcus Ericsson remains with Sabuer
- Ron Dennis ousted in a coup and is to be replaced
- Esteban Ocon replaces Hulkenberg a Force India