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F1 silly season - Who is in the frame for the final five seats?

F1 silly season - Who is in the frame for the final five seats?

F1 silly season - Who is in the frame for the final five seats?

F1 silly season - Who is in the frame for the final five seats?

The F1 driver transfer market has been unexpectedly busy this season and with five seats remaining for next year, who will be racing in 2023?

Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are the only teams to confirm they will run unchanged line-ups, while McLaren and Aston Martin have their pairings set in stone.

For the other five teams - Alpine, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas - the game of musical chairs continues.

But who are the drivers in contention for each seat?

AlphaTauri

With news that Colton Herta's hoped-for move is now off, there is only one seat free with the Faenza-based squad as Pierre Gasly has a deal in place that keeps him with the team for 2023.

However, Gasly may still yet move to Alpine as it is now known Nyck de Vries has held talks with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko

Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda is out of contract at the end of the year and after a tough second season, there are no guarantees he will continue.

But with junior driver Liam Lawson only seventh in the F2 standings, it is unlikely he will make the step up, securing Tsunoda his seat. Expect an announcement at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Alpine

Fernando Alonso's move to Aston Martin and Oscar Piastri's defection to McLaren unexpectedly opened a drive with Alpine.

The confirmation that AlphaTauri had ended its pursuit of Herta seemingly ruled out the previous favourite for the seat in Gasly until the recent De Vries conversation with Marko. The Dutchman, though, is also now in contention for this seat

Daniel Ricciardo has a familiarity with the team after a previous two-year spell with Renault and this could work in his favour.

Mick Schumacher has also been linked as the Haas driver is out of contract at the end of the year. Given his father's history with the Enstone-based team, this could be an attractive proposition.

Jack Doohan is next in line from the academy after Piastri but it would be a shock if he was immediately promoted.

Williams

De Vries is understood to be the number one target for Williams following his drive into the points at the recent Italian Grand Prix but the Grove-based squad now faces intense competition from AlphaTauri and Alpine.

Nicholas Latifi will hope to be retained but even the Canadian must know his time in F1 is drawing to a close after being thoroughly outclassed by Alex Albon across the year. The defeat to De Vries was surely the final nail in his coffin.

The only factor that could save Latifi's F1 career is his substantial financial backing.

Ricciardo is a likely second choice for the team but the Australian has indicated he would be happier to watch from the sidelines rather than race at the back of the pack.

Logan Sargeant is the outside bet. The American is third in the F2 standings and given the rise in popularity of F1 in the USA, this would be a popular move, but it is more likely one for the future.

Haas

Mick Schumacher appears set to leave Haas despite seemingly doing nothing wrong and outperforming team-mate Kevin Magnussen 10-4 in races this season.

Ricciardo is understood to have spoken to team principal Guenther Steiner over the drive but it is former team-mate Nico Hülkenberg that has emerged as the favourite.

The German was the super-sub during the Covid pandemic but last raced full-time in F1 in 2019. For the last two years, he has been the reserve driver for Aston Martin, taking over from the Covid-hit Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Antonio Giovinazzi has already completed one free practice for Haas and will do so again at the United States Grand Prix, but appears behind Hulkenberg in this battle.

Alfa Romeo

There are just two candidates for the Alfa Romeo seat.

Zhou Guanyu has enjoyed a strong rookie season after leaving the Renault Academy to join the team. After scoring points on his debut, he has regularly challenged the top-10 only for reliability to hinder his progress.

Sauber junior driver Théo Pourchaire is the only other candidate. The Frenchman is second in the F2 standings and team principal Fred Vasseur is a fan.

Undoubtedly, Pourchaire deserves a seat but it would be incredibly harsh on Zhou if he were to lose his drive.

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