How is the grid shaping up for the 2019 season?

Date published: October 18 2018

F1 2019 grid

Slowly but surely, the grid for the 2019 season is starting to take shape. Which drivers are still yet to be confirmed?

Three Formula 1 big-hitters were all in place early doors at the top of the grid, with Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton all extending their contracts with Red BullFerrari and Mercedes respectively.

Mercedes’ 2019 line-up was completed after confirmation came that Valtteri Bottas had extended his stay into a third year, which has been followed by the shock announcement that Daniel Ricciardo is off to Renault.

After months of speculation, Ferrari confirmed their full 2019 line-up on September 11 with Charles Leclerc making the huge step up from Sauber to the Scuderia. Kimi Raikkonen is not retiring and is instead heading back to Sauber, his first Formula 1 team, on a two-year deal.

Joining Raikkonen at Sauber is Ferrari development driver Antonio Giovinazzi with Marcus Ericsson demoted to reserve driver with the Swiss team.

All eyes are also on Fernando Alonso as we now await news of where he’ll go next after announcing he’s quitting F1, while his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was axed by McLaren.

Lando Norris is in to replace the Belgian, while Carlos Sainz will replace Alonso in 2019. That, in turn, paved the way for Pierre Gasly to take the vacant seat at Red Bull, which saw the return of Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso confirmed at the Russian Grand Prix.

Haas became only the second team, after Mercedes, to retain both of their drivers with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, who failed to score a point in the first eight races of the season, keeping their seats.

With Force India’s future saved by Stroll Senior, it is expected that Lance Stroll will be with the team next year, if not sooner.

His team-mate will be Sergio Perez after his one-year extension was confirmed, potentially leaving Esteban Ocon  without a seat for 2019.
George Russell has taken on of the seats at Williams. Could Robert Kubica make a return in the second Williams spot?

As for those drivers on the outside looking for a way on to the 2019 grid, Alexander Albon has emerged as the new favourite for the second Toro Rosso seat.

The 2019 puzzle so far…

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton: Contract with Mercedes until end of 2020

Valtteri Bottas: Deal for 2019 with an option for 2020

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel: Contract with Ferrari until end of 2020

Charles Leclerc: Confirmed as Sebastian Vettel’s team-mate for 2019

Red Bull

Max Verstappen: Contract with Red Bull until the end of 2020

Pierre Gasly: Confirmed as Max Verstappen’s team-mate for 2019 season

Force India

Sergio Perez: Signed one-year extension with Force India

Esteban Ocon: TBC

McLaren

Carlos Sainz: Signed multi-year contract with McLaren

Lando Norris: Signed multi-year contract with McLaren

Williams

George Russell: Signed multi-year contract with Williams

Sergey Sirotkin: TBC

Renault

Daniel Ricciardo: Signed with Renault for 2019 in a two-year deal

Nico Hulkenberg: Will partner Ricciardo in 2019

Toro Rosso

Brendon Hartley: TBC

Daniil Kvyat: Returns to Toro Rosso for 2019

Haas

Romain Grosjean: Confirmed for 2019

Kevin Magnussen: Confirmed for 2019

Sauber

Kimi Raikkonen: Rejoins Sauber on two-year deal

Antonio Giovinazzi: Confirmed for 2019

What would be your ideal line-up for the 2019 season?

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