Motorsport News

Formula 1 Silly Season Closes Up

Spanish Grand Prix 2024

Two more seats in the musical chairs known as Formula 1 Silly Season have filled up, with the two already in them staying put.

Alpine was able to retain Pierre Gasly for the foreseeable future. It’s not a surprise that the French team has kept on the veteran Frenchman. Gasly has proven to be a reliable points scorer and will now be the team’s undisputed lead driver.

The question will be who Alpine decides to pair with Gasly. Reserve driver Jack Doohan has been reported as the favorite to take that seat after the team publicly credited him with their turnaround in performance this season. During the Monaco weekend, Doohan did multiple runs in the simulator consecutively, doing everything to get the team’s setup up to speed. That weekend paid off with a points finish for Gasly.

But Doohan doesn’t have the ride sewn up just yet. The team has announced that Mick Schumacher will test their 2022 F1 car next week. Whether it’s a reward for their WEC Hypercar driver or a test to see if the former Haas driver has the talent to race in F1 is a question mark.

The team also has a few other options outside of their system. Zhou Guanyu is a former Alpine Academy driver and could bring a lot of money and Chinese fans to the team. Logan Sargeant has a talent question, but he could be a consideration if he brings any money to the operation.

Honestly, in some ways, whoever they have in that other seat is inconsequential, especially considering they aren’t getting a veteran like Valtteri Bottas nor Carlos Sainz in there. This team seems like a complete mess, one that has festered for years now. Sainz has apparently decided that either 9th or 10th in constructor standings would be a better choice than this works team. That is a total embarrassment.

In other news, Lance Stroll was announced to be remaining with Aston Martin for 2025 and beyond. This is a big blow for Yuki Tsunoda, who will now need to rely on Fernando Alonso retiring for a Honda seat to open up.

It’s not a surprise that Stroll is remaining at the team that his father essentially bought for him. The only real question was if Stroll would move on to his dad’s WEC program, instead of continuing to waste a seat in F1. This keeps him in open wheel until after 2026 at the very least.

Should Stroll have gotten another couple of years in F1? No, the obvious thing would have been trying to go for Sainz and having Alonso pass the torch to his fellow Spaniard. But…

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