The pre-Portuguese GP state of play inside a driver market which is packed with skill, with updates from Haas, Perez, Russell and more
By Matt Morlidge and James Galloway
Last Updated: 22/10/20 six: 00pm
Formula 1’s increasingly competitive drivers market is ramping up with simply six races to go in the 2020 season – particularly after the verification that both Romain Grosjean plus Kevin Magnussen will be leaving Haas.
Haas’ decision offers officially opened up two seats within the 2021 grid, while there could become opportunities at Alfa Romeo, Red-colored Bull, AlphaTauri and possibly even Williams, with many talented drivers, young and old, obtainable.
There have been rumours aplenty in recent weeks, and Thursday’s media day at the Portuguese DOCTOR was rife with driver marketplace questions. Here’s the latest:
Grosjean resigned to F1 leave, Magnussen has ‘more to give’
Grosjean and Magnussen have been team-mates for four years – degree with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton plus Valtteri Bottas as the longest collaboration on the grid – but which will come to an end in a matter of months.
With Haas struggling on the back of the grid and freely thinking long-term with their next series, a double exit wasn’t the greatest surprise and puts two more knowledgeable drivers onto the packed marketplace.
Grosjean, however , feels his time is up in F1 after a decade in the sport.
“Most likely Formula one is closing its doors, inch the Frenchman, who has 10 podiums, told Sky F1. “There generally are not many seats left available. That it is never impossible, so never state never, but also there are other challenges that will I’m ready to tackle. Different issues, different categories. ”
Magnussen, on the other hand, seemed slightly more amazed by Haas’ move and demands he has a lot to offer to F1 teams.
“I’m nevertheless only 28 years old and Seems in Formula 1 for some yrs, ” he said. “I’ve already been with McLaren, I’ve been with Renault, I’ve been with Haas as a brand new team for four years. Personally i think like I’ve got a lot of encounter and I feel that I’m in a location where I still feel youthful, but still experienced, and way more curved as a driver than I was previously.
“It’s funny since in a way I feel ready to take that will next step, yet I find personally in this situation. It is what it is… Method 1 is still a place where Personally i think I have more to achieve and more to provide, but we’ll see what happens. inch
Options appear hard to find for Magnussen in F1, especially with no big money, or team, at the rear of him, but he says he is “open to anything”, with IndyCar possible stateside.
And are Haas ready to sign two young motorists?
One thing Grosjean and Magnussen had been in sync about was their particular belief that Haas are likely to choose drivers with financial – or even marketable – backing for 2021 and beyond.
Mick Schumacher, son of F1 story Michael and F2 title chief, and Nikita Mazepin, a many other F2 driver, have been heavily related to the seat, along with Nico Hulkenberg plus Sergio Perez.
“I said to Guenther when he known as me that I was expecting among us, and he said, ‘no, to get financial reasons, I need both of you out there, ” stated Grosjean.
Magnussen added: “It’s pretty very clear that I can’t bring what a few of the drivers can bring out there. I can provide me as a driver and try to do a good job, but in this day and age, plus particularly this year with the current circumstance of the world, it isn’t easy if you fail to bring any more than just your traveling. ”
Perez states ‘things are looking good’ for long term
Perez will certainly be one of the more sought-after free agents for 2021, using the Mexican – fourth in consecutive 2020 races leading up to Portugal — proving this season that he is still regularly a class act.
There’s still no major upgrade on his future – Red Half truths next to Max Verstappen would be their best-case scenario in F1 whilst there have been rumours linking him along with Williams – but Perez is usually increasingly optimistic.
“I’m looking for a good project and I wish to continue in Formula 1, yet obviously not at any cost, ” Perez said, referencing the Williams hyperlinks. “I’ve been here long enough that Formula 1 seasons are extremely lengthy, so I need very big inspiration, very high motivation to be able to give our 100 per cent.
“Things are looking good at the moment, but till it’s not signed everything is in the environment. ”
While Albon is remaining calm…
Logic indicate these are a big final six events of 2020 for Alex Albon as he looks to secure a new agreement at Red Bull for 2021.
“Obviously I want to remain in this team, and I’m pressing hard for that, ” he stated. “There’s no external mindset, I am focusing on what I can do and getting the very best result. ”
Can both Alfa Romeo drivers maintain their places?
Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi are usually out of contract for next season, yet while Schumacher has been heavily related to an Alfa Romeo seat, this now appears that both present drivers could yet stay another year.
As expected, Kimi wasn’t giving much away upon Thursday, while Giovinazzi said: “It’s not my decision. We need to notice what happens with Ferrari, with Alfa Romeo, and then we’ll see.
“For me, the target can be, of course , to be on the grid the coming year. ”
Russell offers ‘no concerns’ about Williams long term
Williams have both their present drivers – George Russell plus Nicholas Latifi – under obtain 2021 but that hasn’t ended speculation that Perez could be on the radar for the team.
Williams are under brand new ownership since the retention of Russell and Latifi for next year has been announced in July.
Russell’s deal runs to the finish of next season and the Brit said that the fact the new owners, Dorilton Capital, are already investing in the group gives him less to worry about.
“I’ve got a contract to get next year. I’ve obviously seen rumours, ” insisted Russell.
“The facts are there are a lot of great motorists on the grid looking for race chairs, some of which have a lot of backing to their rear which is obviously a major consideration. However for me, I have a contract and I think the continuing future of Williams is in really great hands due to the new owners, investment.
“The financial issues that were around the team over the past couple of years aren’t necessarily there anymore because the brand new owners and investors have the money, they may be investing the money. We have been through an extremely tough time in the past 18 months and we’ve excited to hopefully get a glimmer associated with success into the next 18 months beneath the new ownership. So even more therefore now under the new owners, there may be less to worry [about]. inch
Russell, effectively upon loan from Mercedes and flattering in his second year of F1, added: “I have a contract therefore that’s why there’s no reason of concern. Together they have been down that road prior to from what I understand and they’re content where they are at the moment. They are trading a lot of money at the moment, and there’s no endless pot anywhere and it’s a difficult business, but loyalty is also a huge factor of Williams as part of the traditions. ”