The F1 drivers at risk of being ditched by their teams… | F1

2022 is no different with the rumor mill already circulating.

Whether it’s Alpine having to decide between Fernando Alonso or Oscar Piastri or the uncertainty surrounding Daniel Ricciardo amid his form and comments from McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

Here are six drivers that are most at risk of being replaced for 2023:

Daniel Ricciardo

Since joining McLaren at the start of last season, Ricciardo has struggled to settle in at the Woking-based team.

Despite taking McLaren’s first F1 victory since 2012 at Monza, Ricciardo has been comprehensively beaten by teammate Lando Norris during their time together.

Even despite McLaren compromising their car design to cater for Ricciardo, he’s endured a miserable 2022 campaign with just 11 points in seven rounds.

Ahead of the Monaco GP, McLaren CEO Zak Brown cast doubts about Ricciardo’s future despite him having a contract for next year.

“I don’t want to get into the contract, but there are mechanisms in which we’re committed to each other, and mechanisms in which we’re not,” Brown said.

McLaren have Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward weighting in the wings while Pierre Gasly could be a good option should his time with AlphaTauri come to an end.

Fernando Alonso

Alpine have highly-rated F2 champion Piastri on the sidelines for 2021 so they have a big decision as to who partners Esteban Ocon for next year.

There’s no doubt that Alonso is still performing at the peak of his powers despite his measly points tally after seven rounds with lady luck not on the Spaniard’s side so far.

Alonso has strongly expressed his desire to remain on the grid beyond 2023 but Alpine can’t afford to lose their hot prospect.

Alonso’s options are fairly limited although several publications have linked the 40-year-old to Aston Martin in place of Sebastian Vettel.

However, that seems less likely given Vettel’s recent impressive form but should the German decide to retire at the end of the year due to Aston Martin’s lack of competitiveness, that could happen.

A third stint with McLaren to team up with Norris would give them a formidable line-up, but that’s less realistic.

Pierre Gasly

With Sergio Perez’s contract extension now finalised, Gasly has zero chance of returning to Red Bull after his dreadful stint with the team in the first half of 2019.

Since his return to the Faenza outfit, Gasly has been mightily impressive, even leading to suggestions that he will be the man to replace Lewis Hamilton when the seven-time champion decides to retire.

Unfortunately for Gasly, Hamilton looks to be sticking around and Yuki Tsunoda’s notable improvement in 2022 will impact how highly people rate the Frenchman.

Gasly needs to leave the Red Bull stable, as Carlos Sainz did, with McLaren his best shot at a competitive seat.

Red Bull juniors Liam Lawson and Juri Vips are first in line to replace Gasly, but both have been underwhelming in F2.

Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher hasn’t lived up to expectations with the German still yet to score a single point in his F1 career.

While his dismantling of Nikita Mazepin last year was impressive, Kevin Magnussen has proved to be a much sterner test.

Schumacher has shown glimpses of pace and potential but he has made too many mistakes, putting Haas in a difficult position with regard to the cost cap.

Team principal Guenther Steiner expressed his annoyance after the race on Sunday: “With Mick, we obviously saw what happened. It’s not very satisfactory having a big crash again. We need to see how we move forward from here.”

Schumacher has to turn his season around quickly.

Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Latifi is fighting for his F1 career after a poor start to 2022.

Littered with crashes and mistakes, Latifi appears to have taken a step back relative to last year.

New signing Alex Albon has enjoyed the upper hand, even scoring points on two occasions this year despite Williams having the slowest car on the field.

Nyck de Vries has been heavily linked with the team but if Alpine aren’t able to give Piastri a drive for next year, Williams could be a good option.

Guanyu Zhou

The Chinese rookie has scored just one point compared to Valtteri Bottas’ 40.

While Zhou has been impacted by several reliability issues on race day, he was never running inside the top 10 at any of these races.

Alfa Romeo has often had the fourth or fifth fastest car at a given weekend and should be challenging McLaren in the constructors’ championship.

With Theo Pourchaire part of Sauber’s academy, he could be given a promotion from F2 for 2023.

However, Zhou needs time to adapt to F1 and with significant backing behind him, some good performances in the second half of the year could see him retained.

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