Since the Singapore GP, there have a been quite a few updates regarding the Formula 1 driver lineup for the 2019 season. The most unexpected driver news so far was when Kimi Raikkonen announced he would be returning to Sauber for the next two years with Charles Leclerc taking the second spot at Scuderia Ferrari.
We now know who will be partnering with Kimi at Sauber and it is the long-awaited full-season debut of Antonio Giovinazzi. Giovinazzi has been the test driver for Ferrari for some time now and he even got a couple of races in 2017 for Sauber when he stepped in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein. But this is finally his chance to be in the main team for an entire season and is another driver who has shown potential. Alfa Romeo Sauber is looking like it could be a very exciting middle order team next year. Meanwhile, outgoing driver Marcus Ericsson will stay on in 2019 as the third driver and brand ambassador for Sauber.
Haas meanwhile is the only team other than Mercedes to retain both drivers for the 2019 F1 season – Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean. Despite the odd unfortunate circumstances and Romain messing up, Haas has made the most improvement on the grid since last year and has shown great pace for most of the season. Magnussen has been the stronger and more consistent driver this year while Grosjean still has to prove that he is a highly capable F1 driver and more than just an internet meme.
Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly has been confirmed by the main Red Bull Racing team alongside Max Verstappen for the next year but Brendon Hartley’s future at the team remains uncertain. However, in a surprising move, they have announced one of their drivers for 2019 – Daniil Kvyat. Yes, the torpedo will be returning to race for Red Bull for a third time. He lost his top team seat to Verstappen and then his Toro Rosso seat at the end of 2017. The Russian driver made his F1 debut in 2014 and earned a reputation for being too reckless in his late inside-line overtaking techniques that often ended in a collision. Kvyat was able to secure two podiums in his time at Red Bull Racing (P2 and P3) and is currently Ferrari’s third driver.
Following these announcements, these are the spots yet to be confirmed for the 2019 F1 grid: 1 at Toro Rosso along with both seats at Racing Point Force India and Williams Racing. What are your thoughts on the shuffled up driver lineup for the next season? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe for the latest updates on the newest content from The Auto Loons.