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F1 Driver Roundabout Roundup

Joe Holland
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
945   //    05 Sep 2018, 20:06 IST

Most of the seats are already settled for the 2019 season, including 5 of the 6 at the three top-tier teams, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. But with the second place at the Scuderia still up for grabs, this could have a domino effect on how the remaining seats are allocated.

In seasons of old, there were regularly 12 teams on the grid, resulting in an extra four drivers as compared to today, which means that a number of proven and promising drivers will likely have to miss out for the new year.

F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Practice
18-year-old Lando Norris was announced as Stoffel Vandoorne's replacement for 2019

With the confirmation of Lando Norris' signing, McLaren join Red Bull, Mercedes and Renault in having completely set themselves up for 2019. Ferrari meanwhile will be retaining the services of four-time world champion Sebastien Vettel, but the position of his teammate is still very much an open question. Charles Leclerc was the choice of late Ferrari director Sergio Marchionne, and up until his unfortunate passing it seemed very much like the Monegasque would be replacing the veteran Kimi Raikkonen for the Maranello outfit.

Since then Leclerc's prospects had seemingly cooled, but in the past few days chatter has started up once again. With Vettel seemingly angered by Raikkonen's preferential treatment in qualifying at Monza, there have been a number of reports that the Finn is simply racing for himself and not the team - the suggestion being that he knows this is his last year in F1 and wants to make the most of it.

However, if the 2007 world champion is kept on the books, Leclerc could possibly head to Haas, who use Ferrari engines and are seen as a proxy B-team for the Italian manufacturer

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Joe Holland
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