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How drivers may move on the Formula 1 market's chessboard

One week into the summer break the drivers' market hasn't officialized any change yet, but the feeling most of the paddock has, is that there might be plenty of movements going on 'underground'. Let's see who is more likely to start a seat-swapping domino.

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How drivers may move on the Formula 1 market's chessboard
Fuente imagen: Motorlat Images

VALTTERI BOTTAS: it's no secret that the Finn's seat is shaking under the threat of an Esteban Ocon's return. The young Frenchman is part of the Mercedes' Junior Program and in the past years, driving first for Manor and then behind Force India's steering-wheel, has shown great speed and huge loyalty to the Silver Arrows' team. Moreover, Ocon as proved himself to also be really consistent: he owns the record for the longest race finishes streak since his debut. In doing so, the European Formula 3 and GP3 champion has crossed the finish line for 27 times in a row straight after his debut.
Back to Bottas, Toto Wolff in the last two GPs has consistently stated that "Ocon deserves a seat" and that "it would be interesting to see one of our young drivers on a Mercedes' seat". Ice is thinner than ever, under Valtteri's feet...


PIERRE GASLY: an awful first half of the season has put the #10 in a very difficult situation. Helmut Marko, who owns almost all the power over this kind of decisions, has confirmed that there will be no seat swap before the end of the season. Nevertheless, it would be no surprise so see a changed Red Bull's line-up at Melbourne 2020. Pierre might be demoted to Toro Rosso or even be kicked out of the Formula 1 grid. In both cases, one between Albon and Kvyat -with both of them having raced brilliantly so far- has all the chances to replace the Frenchman. In case of a vacant Toro Rosso's seat, instead, rumors have called under the spotlight Formula 2's front runner Luca Ghiotto, who has been close to the Bulls' Junior Academy also back in 2015. The Italian though has denied any contact so far.



NICO HULKENBERG: the german driver, after a long term investment set with Renault back in 2016, is arguably losing hope about the team chances of becoming a front runner soon. Also Renault itself appears not to be fully happy with Hulkenberg, coinsidering Ricciardo as its first driver. Voices have suggested about Porsche aiming for the Hulk for the next year's Formula E championship, but Nico has labelled them just as speculations.


BOTH HAAS DRIVERS: the infamous duo has nothing to be sure about regarding their future in the Circus. Kevin Magnussen has proved to be incredibly fast but also way too aggressive way too often. Romain Grosjean, on the other hand, is calmer during the race but many embarassing mistakes labelled him with a not so great reputation.
Gunther Steiner in the meantime has never hidden his unhappiness about the situation.


NICHOLAS LATIFI: son of a canadian billionaire, Latifi is currently running in a decent second position in the Formula 2 championship. His father has invested a lot of money on the Williams team, waiting for the moment Nicholas would have gained the superlicence. At the end of this year, beside unexpected twists, the Canadian will be allowed to potentially join the Circus and he will for sure have an eye on one of the Williams' seats. Which one? Difficult to say. Despite having scored the first and only point for the team so far, Robert Kubica has constantly being outscored by rookie team mate George Russell. The Brit is part of the Mercedes' Academy and Wolff has sat him there while decreasing the price of the engine supply. If the rumors about a Williams-Reanult deal would be confirmed, this would put the 2018 Formula 2 champion in a difficult position: the only other Mercedes-powered car on the grid is Racing Point, which -thanks to Lawrence Stroll's money, may keep the current line-up, which they are happy with.

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