The drivers’ market still offers a number of options, as several moves have not been made or announced yet. With the Singapore Grand Prix approaching, it is expected that certain mediatic cases will be closed, given the event’s collocation in the schedule, which renders it strategically important when it comes to defining the following season.
Now that Pierre Gasly and Red Bull made it official about 2019 and beyond, more speculation rises above the Faenza-based team’s unannounced line-up. Sebastien Buemi has been in the eye of the storm, as the team teased the Twitter audience by sharing a picture of the Frenchman in the middle of a seat fitting. Rather eloquent. However, we must not forget that Buemi is engaged with Formula E and the World Endurance Championship.
Helmut Marko admitted he is going to meet the driver at Singapore, but the two commitments held by the Frenchman outside of the F1 orbit might act as pesky hurdles and could block his return to the Pinnacle of motorsport.
Buemi is Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima’s teammate at Toyota in the WEC and, as Marko himself confirmed, the Japanese manufacturer stands against his potential move back to F1.
As Red Bull’s shortlist narrows down to less than a couple of options if we take Buemi and Hartley into account, it is safe to say that its Junior programme did not turn out to be reliable nor forward-thinking. It went from being a flourishing pool of young talents to a sterile terrain full of unripe fruits.
In fact, Helmut Marko lied his hopes on British driver Dan Ticktum, who is not going to collect enough Superlicense points. Same goes for the Honda Juniors from F2, Fukuzumi and Makino, although the Japanese engine supplier would massively benefit from fielding a Japanese competitor. Additionally, Red Bull’s highly selective politics force some of their drivers to walk away, as opportunities start running out.
Carlos Sainz’s football-style loan along with Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull term coming to an end coerced the Spaniard to pack and seek out for a new home.