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F1 Drivers for 2023: All the moves and changes

F1 Drivers for 2023: All the moves and changes

F1 News

F1 Drivers for 2023: All the moves and changes

F1 Drivers for 2023: All the moves and changes
Jack Walker

All the cars are now launched and the new Formula 1 season is almost upon us!

Testing in Bahrain takes place next week and then it's the Bahrain Grand Prix a week later - now it's all getting very real for the drivers ahead of the competitive action getting under way.

F1 driver changes for 2023

None of the top three teams changed their driver pairings for the upcoming season, but there has been plenty of movement further down the grid. From legal disputes to team fallouts, last year’s silly season definitely lived up to the billing. Here are all the driver changes from 2022 as we head ever closer to the 2023 season opener in Sakhir.

Fernando Alonso: Alpine to Aston Martin

After a couple of impressive yet slightly underwhelming seasons, the two-time world champion has ditched blue for green in 2023. Alpine showed fleeting signs of excellence in Alonso’s time – most notably when the Spaniard held off a Lewis Hamilton fightback to help team-mate Esteban Ocon to his maiden F1 win at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2021 – but rather plateaued last season, causing the veteran driver to get itchy feet.

READ MORE: Zinedine Zidane signs for Alpine in F1 launch stunner

Given Aston Martin’s illustrious motorsport heritage, it would be hard for anyone not in a championship-challenging car to turn them down. Couple that with the improvements seen in the second half of last season and the apparent breakdown in relationship at Alpine, it’s not surprising Alonso chose to fill the vacant seat left by Sebastian Vettel’s retirement.

The offer of a multi-year contract, rather than the one-year deal Alpine was offering, was enough to make him certain of the move.

Pierre Gasly: Alpha Tauri to Alpine

Alonso’s departure meant that Alpine had the opportunity to make themselves an all-French outfit, one they duly took by signing Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly on a multi-year deal. The 27-year-old driver endured a torrid 2022 which saw him only score 23 points all year, some 87 less than he recorded in 2021.

The change in regulations hit the team harder than expected, but Gasly’s skill behind the wheel makes him a threat when given the tools. Having gained experience driving for a top team in Red Bull in 2019 before being demoted back to their sister car, Gasly took an astonishing win by taking P1 at the Italian Grand Prix – a perfect example of why he should not be underestimated. If Alpine give him a good car, he could well be at the front of the midfield battle.

Nico Hulkenberg: Back to Haas

Hulk’s back! In his years without a regular seat, Nico Hulkenberg has filled in for many teams when drivers have fallen ill and been unable to race, and has impressed on every occasion. He was in the running to be in an Aston this year but, with Alonso the preferred option and Guenther Steiner’s plea to reunite too hard to resist, Hulk is a Haas driver once again.

The man who scored points on his Formula 1 debut but is yet to step onto the podium some 150 races later will be out to make a point, and it will be interesting to see how he and former arch rival-now-colleague Kevin Magnussen will get on. Have Haas played a blinder or set themselves up for more lead balloons? We’ll find out soon enough.

Oscar Piastri: Joins McLaren

One of most controversial moments of the 2022 season was the debacle surrounding Oscar Piastri’s supposed agreed contract with Alpine. Alpine announced that the experienced F2 driver would finally be making the step up to the top level, but Piastri himself then took to social media claiming that no such contract had been signed.

McLaren then came out of the woodwork to say that they had put pen-to-paper to sign Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement and, after a few expensive weeks in court, the verdict ended in favour of the team from Woking.

Piastri’s natural pace is not in question – having taken just two races to win in F2 for the first time – but there will be a lot of eyes following him and McLaren to see if they are worth the hype in 2023.

Nyck de Vries: Joins Alpha Tauri

From one rookie to another. Well, sort of. Nyck de Vries was the human equivalent of pass the parcel in 2022, filling a seat for numerous teams during testing and practice sessions before deputising for Williams at Monza and finishing an incredible P9 in a car that had no right to be in the points.

Having spent last year as reserve driver for Mercedes, De Vries has worked with some of the best drivers and engineers around, and is probably the most experienced rookie we’ve seen for a long time. If he hits the ground running, the Dutchman could have quite the season.

Logan Sargeant: Joins Williams

Our third rookie racer of 2023 replaces Nicholas Latifi at Williams. While there isn’t that much excitement around the car he’ll be driving, it will be interesting to see how the American compares to team-mate Alex Albon.

With two wins in 32 F2 races, Sargeant isn’t the usual ‘breeze F2 and move quickly on’ story, but has been at Williams for most of his junior career and graduated their driver academy last year. There will definitely be a lot for Sargeant to learn, and he’ll have to do so quickly, but he won’t be short of support as F1 continues to grow in the United States.

READ MORE: F1 seat fitting explained as Piastri undergoes rookie rite of passage

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