Recent confirmations suggest that there won’t be many changes to the Formula 1 driver roster for 2023. But some unanswered questions remain.
This week, AlphaTauri announced that Pierre Gasly would return to the team for what would be a seventh season, making him the most recent driver to have his current team confirm his participation in the 2023 Formula 1 season.
The driver roster for the upcoming season was very slightly altered before this release. Williams is apparently preparing to replace Nicholas Latifi with Oscar Piastri with Alexander Albon, while Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, Alpine, AlphaTauri, and Alfa Romeo all look to be keeping the same lineups for next year.
That leaves three teams, each of which is betting heavily on one driver to win this year’s silly season.
No. 1 in the silly season of Formula 1 is Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren.
Although Daniel Ricciardo’s contract with McLaren is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2023 Formula 1 season, his performance since joining the team last year has caused many to speculate that the agreement might be terminated one year earlier. According to reports, that deal has “mechanisms” in place that would let such to happen.
Who actually has the power to decide whether or not Ricciardo will remain on the team beyond 2022 and what exactly are those “mechanisms” and the elements that influence them?
Could Ricciardo theoretically remain with McLaren through 2023, albeit in a different series, given that the company already runs the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team and has increased its fleet to three cars, in addition to launching a Formula E team by purchasing Mercedes-EQ?
Felix Rosenqvist, a current Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar driver, just extended his contract through 2023, but it doesn’t officially bind him to the IndyCar series.
Will Lando Norris, who is under contract through the 2025 season, and Ricciardo return for another season together, or will McLaren change things up by hiring someone new? Would Ricciardo actually remain with the company if they do hire someone new, or would he eventually join with a different Formula 1 team?