Aston Martin scraps top driver status for 2023 season


Aston Martin has vowed that they no longer need a no.1 driver. This follows the well-publicised altercations between Lance Stroll and veteran team-mate Sebastian Vettel this year.

Team principal Mike Krack is prepared to manage the working relationship between Stroll and two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso next term.

Stroll had a number of entanglements with the retiring Sebastian Vettel, which included the controversy on the first sector of the Interlagos circuit. Four-time world champion Vettel was forced onto the grass in an unnecessary defensive manoeuvre at the Brazilian GP.

With Stroll under contract until the end of next season, it appears that if his father continues to write huge cheques, he should be with the team longer than that unless he clashes with Alonso.

Securing the services of Alonso from Alpine within a week after Vettel announced that he would retire after 15 seasons has been quite a coup, with Krack ready to step in to keep the harmony.

Krack admitted that the team doesn’t want to show any preferential treatment. So from next year, their drivers are equal with no one named as the no.1.

The team have brought in reigning Formula E champion Stoffel Vandoorne as a test and reserve driver for next season, who has been a reserve driver with Mercedes since 2019. He will share duties at Aston Martin with F2 champion Felipe Drugovich, who only joined the team’s driver development programme in September.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 19: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 19, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The FIA will test a decrease in allocated tyre sets from 13 to 11 at two races in 2023, designed to see if the sport can make tyre usage more sustainable in the future. If the weather is dry, then hard tyres will be required in First Qualifying, medium tyres for the Second Qualifying and soft tyres for the Third Qualifying.

The online betting in Australia for the 2023 F1 season sees Max Verstappen (+1.90), Lewis Hamilton (+4.50) and Charles Leclerc (+8.00) streets ahead of the other drivers to clinch the F1 World Drivers’ Championship.

Could Verstappen win a third successive world title in a row, or can Hamilton triumph for a record-breaking eighth F1 crown?

Verstappen, who penned a mega bucks contract to keep him at Red Bull until 2028, has struck up a promising partnership at Red Bull with Sergio Perez. The Mexican has remarkably kept pace with his team-mate in a way that Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly simply couldn’t.

The Mercedes driver line-up of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will remain in place again for 2023. The pair first joined forces ahead of the 2022 campaign, and they continue to show terrific synergy and mutual respect towards each other.

Russell (+15.00), Carlos Sainz Jr. (+23.00) and Sergio Perez (+26.00) are the dark horses to win next year, with the remaining drivers real outside bets.

Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc formed Ferrari’s youngest-ever driver line-up when they linked up for the first time in 2021. With their long-term deals lasting until the end of the 2024 campaign, they should be there or thereabouts in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship.

The teams have only just confirmed their drivers for 2023, with very few changes overall. Alfa Romeo is sticking with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.


ZHOU Guanyu (chi), Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42, BOTTAS Valtteri (fin), Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42, portrait during the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022, 22nd round of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship from November 18 to 20, 2022 on the Yas Marina Circuit, in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri have Nyck de Vries, who scored points on his debut at the 2022 Italian GP, and Yuki Tsunoda lined up. Alpine has got Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri to join Esteban Ocon.

Kevin Magnussen, drafted back into F1 after Nikita Mazepin was sacked before the start of the season, has a new team-mate next year. Mick Schumacher has been replaced by Nico Hulkenberg, who had been without a full-time race seat for the past three campaigns for what seems an intriguing and unexpected twist in the sport.

Lando Norris is believed to be in the top three earners in F1 after signing a deal with McLaren until the end of the 2025 season. Next year he will be joined by rookie Oscar Piastri, who has replaced Daniel Ricciardo, whose contract was terminated by mutual consent.

Alex Albon scored all of Williams’ points before the summer break this year. Next term, he’s set to be joined by academy driver Logan Sargeant. However, Sargeant can only replace Nicholas Latifi – who is moving to IndyCar – for 2023 if he secures the required Super Licence points from the end of the F2 season.

It will make it a most memorable season next year if F1 does manage to unveil only its third new world champion since 2011, with plenty of thrills ‘n’ spills in store for the 24 races on next season’s calendar.



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