How the 2017 F1 grid is shaping up

F1 looks at how the 2017 grid is currently looking following the latest moves in the driver market, starting with the teams yet to confirm their line-ups for next year.


Romain Grosjean, TBC

Romain Grosjean is almost certain to stay, though it has not been made official by the team yet. His 2017 teammate has been uncertain for much of the year, with Esteban Gutierrez's underwhelming performances leaving his seat in doubt. The Mexican driver seems unlikely to stay, with Renault's Kevin Magnussen reported to have signed a deal with the American team.



Sauber was understandably distracted during the first half of the season before finally confirming its new ownership ahead of Hungary. The acquisition by Longbow Finance has secured the team's future on the grid and may well do the same for Marcus Ericsson, with the Swiss company linked to his own backers. Felipe Nasr brings significant money to the team with his Banco do Brasil sponsorship emblazoned on the car but has struggled compared to his impressive rookie season. Both should retain their seats with options limited elsewhere, unless Sauber is interested in bringing Esteban Gutierrez back into the fold.



Manor already knows it will be looking for one new driver next year following Esteban Ocon's move to Force India. That move, and the limited amount of seats elsewhere, makes it likely Pascal Wehrlein will spend another year at the team. The Mercedes driver is highly-rated and the parent team are keen for him to continue his development.

His teammate is uncertain at the moment: Alexander Rossi has committed to another season in IndyCar, while fellow reserve driver Rio Haryanto's financial situation is still unclear. Jordan King, the son of the team's CEO, recently tested for the team in Austin and looks a strong contender for a seat. Esteban Gutierrez could be an outside bet if the team wants a driver with F1 experience.


Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg

The world champions have confirmed Rosberg is staying at the team alongside Hamilton until the end of 2018, meaning we will not see a promotion for Wehrlein or Ocon until 2019 at the earliest. Keeping the pair together for fifth season was a sensible choice and gives the team stability at a time the regulations are set to change in a big way. Whether they will be in a class-leading car again next season remains to be seen.


Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari confirmed it is keeping Raikkonen ahead of the British Grand Prix, which will keep him alongside Vettel for a third consecutive season. Though there were rumours of Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez being of interest, Ferrari did not want to upset driver disharmony at the team despite Raikkonen's inconsistent performances since re-joining the team in 2014. It is worth noting the late Jules Bianchi was seen as the natural successor to Raikkonen.


Valtteri Bottas, Lance Stroll

Eighteen-year-old Lance Stroll, the newly-crowned European Formula 3 champion, has been confirmed alongside Valtteri Bottas for 2017. Stroll replaces the retiring Felipe Massa and, despite being backed by a billionaire father, brings exciting talent and potential to the team. Bottas is still highly rated at Williams and looked a logical candidate despite fleeting interest in a seat at Renault.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen

Another team claiming to have the best line-up on the current grid has confirmed it will be unchanged next season (and into 2018). Verstappen's elevation to Red Bull this year has given the team its first win since 2014 and has forced Ricciardo to step up his game, a win-win for a team hoping to be right back in title contention next season when the new regulations place the emphasis back on aerodynamics.

Force India

Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon

After months of speculation about Sergio Perez's future, Nico Hulkenberg was the driver to leave the team for Renault. That opened up a vacancy at Force India for the first time since those two were paired together in 2014. With a big list of candidates to choose from the team swooped for exciting young Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon, who has spent the latter half of this season cutting his teeth at Manor.


Nico Hulkenberg, Jolyon Palmer

Perhaps the most curious driver line-up on the current grid given the two drivers it features. Hulkenberg's move to Renault seemingly came out of nowhere after his Force India teammate Sergio Perez decided to stay put for next year. Though Renault was strongly linked with French driver Esteban Ocon, Hulkenberg's move from Force India made it likely he would be driving a Mercedes-powered car next season. That left it a straight choice between Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen, who have both endured inconsistent seasons. The fact it chose Palmer over Magnussen seems to confirm rumours the Dane is set to sign for Haas next season.

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso has confirmed another year of Sainz, who is still hoping to force an elevation to Red Bull similar to Verstappen this year. Verstappen's elevation saw Daniil Kvyat drop to the Italian team this year and, despite a difficult season at his old team, the Russian driver has been confirmed for another season. That decision surprised some observers, given Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly's form in GP2 this year, but gives Kvyat a final chance to prove he's worthy of a drive.


Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne

At the Italian Grand Prix, McLaren finally put the media out of its misery by announcing Stoffel Vandoorne as Fernando Alonso's teammate for 2017. Jenson Button, meanwhile, has signed a new contract to remain at McLaren as an ambassador -- a role that includes a sabbatical year in 2017 and an option (assuming both parties agree) for a return to racing in 2018. Alonso has made clear that his F1 future will depend on the success of the 2017 regulations (and McLaren's success under them) so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Button won't return.