Lando Norris and two other drivers who could secure an F1 seat in 2019

David Cooper 21/08/2018
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With Fernando Alonso retiring from Formula 1 and Daniel Ricciardo joining Renault, the drivers’ grid is set to look a little different in 2019.

Here, we take a look at three names who could seal a seat in 2019.

LANDO NORRIS TO MCLAREN

The Briton currently sits second in Formula 2 and is widely tipped as one of the stars of the future.

Although Carlos Sainz will replace Fernando Alonso in 2019, Norris’ hopes of securing a seat should not be dashed just yet.

McLaren’s second contracted driver Stoffel Vandoorne faces an uncertain future with the Belgian struggling for form – being the only driver in the paddock not to outqualify his teammate in the 12 races to date.

It is understood that Norris will take the wheel for the first free practice in Belgium this weekend, with his latest runs part of an ongoing trial regarding his potential to seal a race seat with the team next season.

DAN TICKTUM TO TORO ROSSO

The Briton was tipped to replace Brendon Hartley earlier in the season but his main obstacle is obtaining a super license.

The 19-year-old needs 40 points before he can be awarded an FIA Super License required to race grand prix, or 25 to take part in first practice sessions.

If he wins the F3 European Championship title he will earn 30 points – on top of the five he has already – leaving him just five short of the minimum 40.

The FIA reviews its super licence criteria each year so changes could be made that make the highly-rated Londoner eligible.

ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI TO SAUBER

The Italian drove in first practice for Sauber in Hungary earlier this month and will take that role for four more races before the end of the season.

The 24-year-old has two career starts with the Swiss outfit, finishing 12th on his debut in Australia in 2017, before crashing out in China two weeks later.

Uncertainty over the futures of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson means at least one seat could be available next season, and the Ferrari academy driver has emerged as the key candidate.

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Carlos Sainz confirmed as Fernando Alonso's replacement at McLaren for 2019 F1 season

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In the driving seat: Carlos Sainz.

Carlos Sainz will replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren for the 2019 Formula One World Championship.

Two-time world champion Alonso announced on Tuesday that he had decided to leave McLaren and “move on” from F1 at the end of the season.

“I’m delighted to finally be able to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver from the 2019 season,” Sainz said on the team’s official website.

“It’s something I’ve been looking at for a while and I’m very excited about this next chapter in my career.

“I’ve been a McLaren fan for as long as I can remember. It’s a great name in the sport with an incredible heritage, and the list of drivers that have raced for McLaren over the years are among the heroes of Formula 1.”

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Fernando Alonso to leave Formula One at the end of the season

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Fernando Alonso has announced that he will leave McLaren and “move on” from Formula One at the end of the season.

Alonso, a two-time world champion, is currently racing in his 17th season in F1 and has promised to finish the 2018 championship with “more commitment and passion than ever”.

The 37-year-old Spaniard says “new exciting challenges are around the corner” and is expected to make a full-time switch to the Indy Car series.

Alonso said in a statement: “After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on. I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons and I cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.

“There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.

“Let’s see what the future brings; new exciting challenges are around the corner. I’m having one of the happiest times ever in my life but I need to go on exploring new adventures.”

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