F1 2023 Driver Lineup: Which seats are open heading into Spa?

Alex Albon - Williams F1 - Hungary GP

Williams have confirmed Alex Albon for next season. So as the series returns from the summer break, a look at the F1 2023 driver lineup.

F1 is finally back and ready for a triple-header of Grand Prix weekends. Since then Williams have locked Alex Albon in for 2023 and beyond. His strong return to F1 has seen him improve his stock and should help Williams as they look to climb back into the midfield. Technically, 15 of the 20 seats for next season are locked in. However, that second seat at McLaren currently held by Daniel Ricciardo seems very tenuous. So as everyone returns to work for the Belgian Grand Prix, how does the F1 2023 Driver Lineup picture look?

Original (August 2nd)

When a multi-time World Champion announces their plans for the following season that will make the headlines. When two of them do in short order and involve the same team, welcome to the silly season. The F1 2023 driver market was thrown into high alert around the Hungarian Grand Prix. Let’s break down the news, what we know so far, and what remains open.

Two Big Changes Shake Up The Driver Lineup

First, on Thursday, four-time F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement at the end of the season. The messages of thanks and appreciation rolled in. Then came the speculation of who might fill his seat. It didn’t take long as two-time champ Fernando Alonso made the shock announcement he was leaving Alpine to join Aston Martin. With those two big moves confirmed where does that leave the rest of the grid?

Updated August 23rd

F1 2023 – Which seats are still open?

Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas & Open.

Bottas signed a multi-year deal when he moved from Mercedes, while Zhou Guanyu is on a one-year deal. Zhou has impressed, even if the car has faltered lately. It’ll come down to his year of experience and financial backing in China versus the team’s interest in potential F2 Champion Theo Pourchaire. A possible workaround would be making Pourchaire the 2023 reserve driver (in place of Robert Kubica), similar to what Alpine has done this season. Former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi will test for Haas this season, but it seems unlikely the team would return to the Italian. Then there is the potential purchase by Audi to consider and how much of a say they may want if the second seat has yet to be confirmed.


Pierre Gasly & Open.

While Tuki Tsunoda has yet to be confirmed for next season, Red Bull seems committed to him for another year, and there is the team’s engine agreement with Honda to consider. It’s unlikely but possible, that they decide to opt for one of their F2 drivers if Tsunoda struggles in the coming races. The Red Bull academy driver Liam Lawson will be testing for AlphaTauri at Spa. The other potential is that if Porsche buys into Red Bull and wants a say in the driver lineup, well the first team is locked in, so Yuki’s seat is the only place they could use that influence.


Esteban Ocon & Open.

It was surprising to see Alonso’s departure, but in theory, this works out well for Alpine. This now frees up a spot for F2 Champion and current reserve driver Oscar Piastri. Alpine announced that Piastri would be joining the team in 2023. And then…Piastri said that wasn’t true. The latest rumors have Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher as considerations. A wild shot, but unlikely at the moment, is Pierre Gasly pushing for an exit from the Red Bull system to join the French team.

Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso & Lance Stroll.

They have taken the driver drama title from McLaren over the past month. Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix. His spot was immediately filled by Alonso following a Monday morning news release heading into the summer break. A multi-year year, plus Stroll’s presumed safe roll in the team, locks this duo in for 2023 and probably 2024.


Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz.

Both of the Ferrari drivers are locked in through the 2024 season.


Kevin Magnussen & Open.

Magnussen’s return came with a two-year deal, a deal that will help Haas in the development of this new car. Mick Schumacher has landed his first F1 points, but his future remains open. Given his Ferrari backing and name recognition, Mick remains the favorite for Haas in 2023. However, Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri would likely be welcomed by the American team. Antonio Giovinazzi will test twice this season for Haas, but he isn’t seen as a likely contender to return to the F1 grid next year.


Lando Norris & Daniel Ricciardo.

Norris has a contract through 2025 and we’ve discussed the overall McLaren drama – “McLaren: Analyzing the F1, IndyCar, and Formula E seats for 2023.” While there is interest in IndyCar’s Pato O’Ward or Colton Herta, and Alpine’s Oscar Piastri, Daniel remains in the seat heading into the conclusion of the 2022 season. Or does Piastri’s comments refuting Alpine’s announcement mean he actually has an agreement with McLaren?


Lewis Hamilton & George Russell.

Russell signed a long-term deal before the start of this season. And while Hamilton’s return was speculation in the winter, he agreed to a two-year contract. That locks in this duo through the end of 2023.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez.

Verstappen signed perhaps the longest F1 contract, locking him in with Red Bull through 2028. Perez ahead of his win in Monaco agreed to an extension for 2023 & 2024.


Alex Albon & Open

At the start of August, the team announced a new multi-year deal with Alex Albon. The team also announced that their academy driver, Logan Sargent, who is currently having a great season in F2, would be testing at Austin later this year. Nicholas Latifi is most likely out after 2022. Making this one of the more wide-open seats in F1. Contenders include Mercedes’ reserve driver & Season 7 Formula E champion Nyck de Vries, Logan Sargent, Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher & Oscar Piastri.

Featured Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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