After two poor seasons, Daniel Ricciardo's time with McLaren will end at the end of 2022, paving way for Oscar Piastri.

McLaren won the tug-of-war against Alpine by signing Piastri for 2023 after it was announced at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Ricciardo has also been linked with a move to Alpine (he raced for them when the team was known as Renault), and has reportedly been contacted by Haas.

How is the 2023 driver market shaping up? 

Silly season truly kicked off when Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement, leaving a vacancy for Aston Martin.

Fernando Alonso will move to Aston Martin, leaving a seat free at Alpine.

Piastri to make F1 debut with McLaren

The Woking outfit has won this battle after it was taken to the CRB (contract recognition board).

What about the top teams?

Red Bull were the key to the 2023 driver market, but Sergio Perez’s impressive form at the start of 2022 saw him rewarded with a new two-year contract after his Monaco Grand Prix win. Teammate Max Verstappen’s lucrative deal has him locked in until at least 2028.

A month before Perez secured his future, Carlos Sainz signed a fresh two-year deal that means his contract is as long as Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, who penned a five-year deal before the 2020 season.

Meanwhile, at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton’s current contract covers the 2022 and 2023 seasons, while George Russell joined on a long-term deal and is regarded as the future of the team.

McLaren have star driver Lando Norris tied down on a fresh multi-year contract through 2025. 

Esteban Ocon is contracted at Alpine through 2024, while Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin seat is considered relatively safe for the foreseeable given his father owns the team. 

Despite speculation surrounding Pierre Gasly’s F1 future following the announcement of Perez’s new Red Bull deal, team principal Franz Tost stressed in Canada it is “100% confirmed” that the Frenchman will drive for AlphaTauri again in 2023.

After showing signs of the consistency he lacked in his rookie campaign, Yuki Tsunoda is expected to be retained for a third campaign at AlphaTauri with Red Bull’s highest-placed juniors not exactly setting the world alight in F2. 

Alfa Romeo has one driver under contract for 2023 in the shape of Valtteri Bottas, who arrived on a multi-year deal following his Mercedes departure. 

The second seat is likely to be between F1 rookie Guanyu Zhou and F2 title contender Theo Pourchaire, an exciting member of Sauber’s junior academy who appears destined for F1 in the near-future.

Zhou’s quick adaptation to F1 has impressed Alfa Romeo, while his presence on the grid is expected to help both the sport and his team crack the Chinese market. 

With the Chinese Grand Prix set to return to the calendar in 2023, there are plenty of benefits of keeping Zhou on for at least one more season, not least the financial backing he brings. 

And if he continues his impressive displays, he will make the decision all the more easier for Alfa Romeo.

At Haas, Kevin Magnussen agreed a long-term deal as part of his shock return to F1, but Mick Schumacher’s future is less certain. The German is under pressure to match Magnussen and shake-off his costly crash habit.

After a miserable start to life in Formula E, Antonio Giovinazzi has been mooted as a possible alternative for Haas next season if Schumacher fails to turn things around. 

And what of the future?

Hamilton will be at the epicentre of the 2024 driver market, with any decision he makes about his future likely to have huge repercussions up and down the grid. 

The seven-time world champion’s future will surely hinge on Mercedes’ competitiveness in 2023 and whether the reigning world champions can return to winning ways after their dramatic fall from grace.

Should Hamilton retire, that would leave a gaping whole at Mercedes for 2024. 

Who would Mercedes look at to replace Hamilton? Would they attempt to prize Norris away from McLaren, or perhaps provide Gasly with the opportunity to finally fly the Red Bull nest? 

Vacancies could subsequently open up at the likes of McLaren, Alpine and Aston Martin, potentially causing a dramatic driver market ripple effect. 

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff made it clear the team’s preference is to continue with the all-British pairing of Hamilton and Russell for as long as possible. 

“Are we starting talking [about] 2024 contracts in June 2022? No, we are in a happy place with Lewis. There is no doubt that we are embarking on the season and the next one in a good place,” Wolff said in Azerbaijan. 

“It's too early to discuss 2024. But having said that, I couldn't wish for a better driver pairing.” 

It will be fascinating to see how things develop over the next 12 months.