Silly season trudges on as there are now articles suggesting that Daniel Ricciardo could take a reserve driver role if no seat is available for 2023. Dan was overheard as saying he could take a year off and come back in 2024.
There are also a few articles suggesting that Mercedes might be interested in Dan as a reserve driver to eventually take over from Lewis Hamilton who’s contract ends next year. Would it make sense? For me, the reserve role might make sense but I’m not so sure about replacing Lewis with Dan. Maybe that is more likely if George is killing it by then.
The other news is around the Alpine seat and many feel that Pierre Gasly is the lead choice but much of that has to do with the FIA’s decision on allowing Colton Herta a super license so he can replace Gasly at Alpha Tauri. Gasly has a contract with Red Bull for next year so he would have to be released and Alpha Tauri will only do that if they can get Colton Herta. Or at least that’s the rumor.
Then there is Mick Schumacher who is seemingly out at Haas F1 for next season. The rumor mill has Nico Hulkenberg as a possible replacement. Some suggest maybe Daniel Ricciardo could go to Haas F1 as well so the dart-throwing speculation is a bit all over the board at the moment.
Pierre Gasly was a no-show on Thursday at Monza due to an illness and more rumors about his moving to Alpine despite the 14 other drivers the team is looking at as a teammate to Esteban Ocon for 2023.
Then you have Nick de Vries sitting in in for Sebastian Vettel during FP1 this weekend while many have him pegged him as the replacement at Williams for Nicholas Latifi in 2023.
Finally there is a lot of talk about Antonio Giovinazzi replacing Zho Guanyu at Alfa Romeo next year too.
So the Silly Season continues in full force with some speculation more based than others but in the end, this Alpine seat and Haas seat as well as Alfa Romeo and Williams all add to the drama of driver speculation. It’s a stark reminder that the drivers are hired hands, 1099’s or temps at any team and ultimately, the game of musical chairs is getting very tough with limited chairs remaining and the music nearly stopped.