With just one round of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season remaining, the 2017 grid is nearing completion following this week's announcement that Marcus Ericsson will be staying at Sauber next year.

While Ericsson's extension was largely expected, it leaves just three available seats on the 2017 grid - one alongside him at Sauber and two at Manor.

We look at who is in the running and rate their chances...

Felipe Nasr
The incumbent at Sauber has endured a tough 2016 season with uncompetitive machinery, his headline-grabbing top five debut with the team in 2015 now very much a distant memory. Prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix there were murmurings in the paddock that Nasr was likely to be heading for the exit door, not least when team principal Monisha Kaltenborn didn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement of her driver when asked about Nasr's chances of staying on.

Furthermore, though Nasr has spoken of his desire to continue, it is also understood that he is unhappy team-mate Ericsson gets priority on parts, which he feels is allowing the Swede to out-perform him. That said, Nasr's ninth place finish in Brazil - a result that could bring millions to Sauber by virtue of its newly-acquired 10th in the constructors' standings at the expense of Manor - might change the discussion slightly, while he remains a potentially attractive option for Manor provided his Banco do Brasil sponsors stay with him.

Pascal Wehrlein
These are testing times for Pascal Wehrlein. Three months ago he was the darling of Mercedes' eye and a racer whose long-term future seemed to have been mapped out for him... then Esteban Ocon joined him at Manor. Since then, Ocon has gone on to secure a 2017 drive with Force India with Mercedes' blessing, a seat many expected to be heading to the more experienced Wehrlein. It means Wehrlein - who could barely hide his disappointment in the wake of the Force India announcement - faces another year at Manor or possibly a surprise move to Sauber.

Though Manor had been touted as a potential Mercedes 'B team', the manufacturer is reluctant to make such a commitment as Red Bull does with Toro Rosso, whereas Sauber - with its new financial investment - has demonstrated its potential to produce a competitive car on a smaller budget. Furthermore, it would also be seen as a promotion of sorts for Wehrlein to compensate for being passed over at Force India and give him room to progress.

Esteban Gutierrez
With strong backing and some substantial F1 experience to his credit, Esteban Gutierrez remains a thought-provoking option for both teams despite his paltry set of results. While just one top ten finish in three seasons can partly be justified by the mediocre machinery he has sometimes raced in, Gutierrez's fairly poor results tally hasn't endeared him to other teams with money to burn. However, for those that would welcome his investment - like Manor -, he at least comes with plenty of prior knowledge, if not exactly credentials.

Rio Haryanto
Indonesia's first F1 driver made a positive impression when he made his debut with Manor this year. Though dismissed initially for his hefty state-funded backing - despite an impressive turn in GP2 -, Haryanto was a closer match for Wehrlein than many expected and many were sad to see him go mid-season when the funding stopped. However, it is believed Haryanto's team has been busy behind the scenes chasing sponsorship for a full season package making him a genuine contender for a return, especially if Wehrlein leaves for Sauber.

Antonio Giovinazzi
The youngster many want to see step up to F1 next season, Antonio Giovinazzi is nonetheless a talent that has somehow not been spotted by those that matter. Set to go head-to-head with Pierre Gasly for the GP2 title this weekend, should Giovinazzi come out on top he will join Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg by succeeding in his rookie campaign. Winning fans with his frisky driving style and some quite spectacular back-to-front drives in 2016, Giovinazzi has received some high praise but doesn't come with massive personal backing and is not associated with any driver programmes. It is believed Sauber is keen on the Italian but his chances are dependent on what funding he can bring.



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