The Formula 1 silly season has been slow to kick off aside from Nyck de Vries‘ sacking from AlphaTauri, but with eight seats available for 2024 things surely won’t stay that way for long.
In 2023, the summer break was set alight by Fernando Alonso‘s exit from Alpine followed by Oscar Piastri snubbing the French team, but we’re yet to see the first domino to fall ahead of 2024.
There’s an incredibly strong field in the 2023 Formula 2 season plus Liam Lawson‘s outstanding Super Formula season but after three rookies joined F1 after 2023, it would be a surprise to see that number repeated a year later.
The last time three rookies entered the grid was 2021, which was followed by only Zhou Guanyu following suit the following season. It was a similar story from 2019 to 2020, where only Nicholas Latifi made his debut a year after Lando Norris, George Russell and Alex Albon‘s rookie seasons.
However, there are several drivers at risk who certainly won’t be taking much comfort from that fact. There will also be new constructor names for fans to get used to with three teams potentially changing for 2024.
F1 2024 Driver Line-up
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||George Russell|
|Aston Martin||Fernando Alonso||Lance Stroll|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Carlos Sainz|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Oscar Piastri|
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon||Pierre Gasly|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Zhou Guanyu|
|AlphaTauri||Yuki Tsunoda||Daniel Ricciardo|
Drivers at risk
Kevin Magnussen could be one name on the chopping block, he’s been comfortably second-best at Haas in 2023 trailing Nico Hulkenberg nine points to two in the championship.
Seemingly the oldest 30-year-old in F1 history, Magnussen already looked like he’d been retired by F1 when he was axed for 2021 but was given a reprieve by Nikita Mazepin‘s last-minute seat loss following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year later.
It’s too early to judge Daniel Ricciardo‘s prospects of remaining on the grid but Red Bull do have a fantastic junior team class headlined by Lawson. Or could Ricciardo take Perez‘s place at the top team?
Ayumu Iwasa will have hoped to be closer to the front of the F2 frontrunners but could still make a late title charge while Zane Maloney‘s top-ten in his rookie season is not to be sniffed at.
Zhou Guanyu is also at-risk, he seems well-liked at Alfa Romeo but Theo Pourchaire has been the posterboy of the Sauber Academy since its inception and currently leads the F2 championship.
And what of Logan Sargeant? The American’s struggled in his debut season of F1 but probably got promoted a year ahead of schedule so he should be safe for another year before the pressure’s really on.
Who is expected to re-sign for their team?
Lewis Hamilton‘s Mercedes contract extension is ’emotionally done’ according to team principal Toto Wolff – raising the question of what an emotional signature actually entails.
Yuki Tsunoda will likely stay at AlphaTauri if he can continue his form from the first half of the season, he responded well to Ricciardo at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll should also be safe at Aston Martin unless his father has a change of heart (or priorities), while it’d very harsh for Haas to sack Hulkenberg after his stellar start to the year.