Let the rumour mill begin!
After sixteen years in Formula 1, Sebastian Vettel has sadly announced he is to retire from the sport at the conclusion of the 2022 season. In his time in the sport, the Aston martin driver has become one of the most successful drivers F1 has ever seen, utterly dominating during his time with Red Bull at the beginning of the 2010’s.
His boots are certainly big ones to fill, however, who is in the running to take his seat? I have looked at five drivers who Aston Martin may consider.
No list like this would be complete without Nico Hulkenberg being mentioned, however, this time, there is every chance he will be truly and seriously considered by Aston Martin.
After impressively filling in for Vettel in the past, as well as for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll during the team’s Racing Point days, Hulkenberg has every reason to be mentioned.
It would certainly be a popular choice amongst the paddock and fans alike.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum is Alex Albon, who has returned to competition in 2022 following a year sabbatical after being dropped by Red Bull at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Although technically still a Red Bull driver on loan at Williams, Albon has shone in his new role as team leader, consistently outperforming established teammate Nicholas Latifi.
Albon has proved that he is more than capable of leading a team, could Aston Martin be the next step in his career?
Another choice is Sebastian’s close friend Mick Schumacher who has impressed in his second season with Haas alongside Kevin Magnussen.
After a slight blip at the beginning of the season which saw him have a horrendous crash in Saudi Arabia qualifying and splitting his car in two at Monaco, Mick has gone onto consistently finish on par with teammate Magnussen, claiming his first points finish of his career at Silverstone before repeating the feat two weeks later in Austria with a career best sixth place.
It isn’t just the name that has got Schumacher this far, his form in junior categories was truly masterful at times, is Aston Martin the team to see him rise up the grid further?
Another Red Bull backed driver who may throw his hat into the frame is Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who has cemented his reputation of the past three seasons as one of the best on the grid.
Although he has a contract with Alpha Tauri for 2023, a move back to Red Bull does not appear to be on the cards for some time, with Sergio Perez’s form looking increasingly strong as Max Verstappen’s teammate, it may well be a move to Aston Martin may be the chance he needs to truly lead and develop a new team into the future.
The final driver I am going to look at is Daniel Ricciardo, who has had constant rumours surround him this season that he and McLaren will go their separate ways at the end of the season.
Although both have acknowledged that the partnership has not been as successful as they had hoped, a single victory at Monza being the highlight of the partnership so far, both McLaren and Ricciardo have also both recognised that there is a contract in place for 2023.
However, there are continuous rumours that there are other drivers in the frame for that drive such as American IndyCar drive Colton Herta, who announced a test with McLaren will take place.
Could Ricciardo see a fresh challenge at Aston Martin and feel a change is needed?
Whoever gets the Aston Martin drive though, has big shoes to fill.
If there are another other driver’s you feel have a chance at the drive, please feel free to get in contact!