Slowly but surely, the grid for the 2019 season is starting to take shape. Which drivers are still yet to be confirmed and whose seat could become a vacant one?
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 Bull, Ferrari 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.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean is another whose future is in doubt following regular race incidents and crashes in the first half of the season.
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. If that is the case, either Sergio Perez or Esteban Ocon could be without a seat for 2019, while Robert Kubica could make a return in the vacant Williams spot.
As for those drivers on the outside looking for a way on to the 2019 grid, Pascal Wehrlein is one of many drivers linked with a seat at Toro Rosso and Sauber reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi is also trying to force their way into contention for a 2019 place.
The 2019 puzzle so far…
Lewis Hamilton: Contract with Mercedes until end of 2020
Valtteri Bottas: Deal for 2019 with an option for 2020
Sebastian Vettel: Contract with Ferrari until end of 2020
Charles Leclerc: Confirmed as Sebastian Vettel’s team-mate for 2019
Max Verstappen: Contract with Red Bull until the end of 2020
Pierre Gasly: Confirmed as Max Verstappen’s team-mate for 2019 season
Sergio Perez: TBC
Esteban Ocon: TBC
Carlos Sainz: Signed multi-year contract with McLaren
Lando Norris: Signed multi-year contract with McLaren
Lance Stroll: TBC
Sergey Sirotkin: TBC
Daniel Ricciardo: Signed with Renault for 2019 in a two-year deal
Nico Hulkenberg: Will partner Ricciardo in 2019
Brendon Hartley: TBC
Romain Grosjean: TBC
Kevin Magnussen: TBC
Kimi Raikkonen: Rejoins Sauber on two-year deal
Marcus Ericsson: TBC
What would be your ideal line-up for the 2019 season?