F1 Silly Season is about to get in full swing now that the summer break is over and the series is headed to Belgium this weekend. A number of seats are in flux but we should get some clarity over the next two weeks as to who will be where when the grid forms next season in Australia.
A couple of seats could be announced as soon as this weekend at Spa.
Esteban Ocon To Renault
According to all reports, Mercedes will let Esteban Ocon out of his contract that ties him to the silver arrows and let him race for Renault next season alongside Daniel Ricciardo. A Frenchman in a French car is a marketing dream for the pencil pushers at Renault. On top of that, it puts Ocon back on the grid. Ocon is viewed as a future race winner in the sport, a guy that could go head to head with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in the future.
For Renault, they are replacing a solid veteran in Nico Hulkenberg who can achieve decent results for the car but has yet to finish on the podium. Ocon is a long term play if the team can hold on to him. Pairing him with Ricciardo will help push both drivers in 2020.
Valtteri Bottas Staying
Rumor on the street is Mercedes will confirm Bottas for the 2020 season. It’s an interesting play for Mercedes and it will be interesting to see if it is a 1-year deal or a multi-year deal. If it’s a 1-year deal we’ll be back in this same place next year. Bottas has the speed to win races, we’ve seen that. The question is can he find a complete season worth of speed? For Mercedes as long as he can take away constructor points from other teams he’s serving his purpose. At some point however they need to look toward the future.
Nico Hulkenberg Moving To Haas
According to the foreign press, Nico Hulkenberg will make the move to Haas F1 next season. Assuming he will partner Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will be kicked to the curb.
Haas has a lot of issues, drivers are certainly one of them. Team management is another. Car design falls in the fold as well. Gene Haas has his hands on the operation too much. Regardless, the addition of Hulkenberg will add some more stability to the team. Perhaps he’ll complain less.
Any Other Moves?
There is still an outside chance major moves could happen at Ferrari and Red Bull. A very small outside chance.
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