F1: ‘Silly season’ set to explode at Zandvoort

(GMM) A new round of Formula 1’s ‘silly season’ is set to shift into a higher gear at Zandvoort this weekend.

It is expected that, certainly by next weekend at Monza, Mercedes will finally have confirmed that George Russell is joining Lewis Hamilton at the works team from 2022.

Valtteri Bottas looks bound for Alfa Romeo, with his 41-year-old countryman Kimi Raikkonen also tipped to announce his retirement as soon as next weekend’s Italian GP.

As for Bottas’ Alfa Romeo teammate, that is less clear as the Sauber team is rumored to be considering switching from Ferrari power to Mercedes.

That may result in the departure of Antonio Giovinazzi, a Ferrari academy driver, with Mick Schumacher’s rumored Alfa Romeo move now definitely not happening as he is poised to sign on again with Haas.

Another team with a key vacancy is Williams, who are resigned to losing Russell to Mercedes. Nyck de Vries, the new Formula E champion, is linked with either Williams or Alfa Romeo for 2022.

But another player on the market is Formula 2 front-runner and Chinese Guanyu Zhou, while Red Bull is actively looking for a team to accommodate Alex Albon’s return to Formula 1.

“Alex is a talent,” Dr Helmut Marko told the Austrian newspaper Krone.

“We have not yet written him off after his time with Red Bull in Formula 1. He will still get his chance in F1, with whatever team.”

Marko hailed Albon’s transition to DTM this year, saying the British born Thai driver has “already established himself at the top of the sport”.

“Of course he is not complete as a driver yet, but he is definitely someone for the future,” he said.

Finally, Aston Martin is tipped to announce that Sebastian Vettel is staying put for 2022.

“We’ll announce it soon,” a spokesman told RTL when asked about the Lawrence Stroll-owned team’s full 2022 driver lineup.

Another big topic of conversation amid the Dutch GP this weekend will be the potential easing of covid restrictions in Formula 1, according to McLaren supremo Zak Brown.

“Now that it’s been tabled and discussed and all the teams agree that we need to start loosening it up, I’d like to think maybe we could get something done for Monza,” he told Reuters.

Last Updated September 1, 2021

2022 F1 Silly Season Page
Team Engine No. Driver Nat. Rating Comments
Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen Ferrari 77 Valtteri Bottas Finland Strong Reportedly, Bottas has already spoken with Alfa about a 2022 seat. Replaces Kimi
21 Nyck de Vries Netherlands Strong To Replace Giovinazzi
99 Antonio Giovinazzi Italy Speculation Unlikely to hold on to his seat at Alfa Romeo, with the Italian driver being moved aside by Ferrari to join their Hypercar program
53 Callum Ilott England Speculation Ilott one of many linked to Alfa Romeo
Alpha Tauri Red Bull 10 Pierre Gasly France Strong Gasly would like to go back to the senior Red Bull team but Alpha Tauri seems more likely.
22 Yuki Tsunoda Japan Strong Franz Tost seemed to suggest Tsunoda would get a second year with Alpha Tauri.
Alpine F1 Team Renault 14 Fernando Alonso Spain Fact Re-Signed
31 Esteban Ocon France Fact Ocon re-signed with Alpine in June.
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes 5 Sebastian Vettel Germany Strong Vettel is all but confirmed.
18 Lance Stroll Canada Fact Daddy would never fire his son
Ferrari Ferrari 16 Charles Leclerc Monaco Fact Leclerc signed through 2024.
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Spain Fact Sainz all set at Ferrari for 2022.
Haas F1 Team Ferrari 9 Nikita Mazepin Russia Fact Mazepin is signed for 2022.
47 Mick Schumacher Germany Strong Schumacher is contracted to Ferrari. Do they keep him at Haas or move him to Alfa?
McLaren F1 Team Mercedes 3 Daniel Ricciardo Australia Fact Ricciardo signed for 2022.
4 Lando Norris England Fact Norris inked a multi-year deal with the team in May.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 44 Lewis Hamilton England Fact Hamilton is signed for 2022.
63 George Russell England Strong If you believe Gunther Steiner, Russell is headed to Mercedes in 2022.
Red Bull Racing Red Bull 11 Sergio Perez Mexico Fact Re-Signed
33 Max Verstappen Netherlands Fact Verstappen is all set for 2022.
Williams Racing Mercedes 6 Nicholas Latifi Canada Fact Signed.
27 Nico Hulkenberg Germany Speculation Hulkenberg has been linked to Williams
23 Alex Albon Thailand Strong Red Bull wants to find him a drive
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com