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With Formula One teams trying to figure out how to get the most out of cars under the new regulations while staying within the budget cap, it’s starting to look like the majority are shying away from shaking up their driver lineups for 2023.

With top three teams Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes already virtually locked-in to bringing back this year’s pairings for the foreseeable future, news and rumors are rapidly giving shape to the remainder of the grid.

McLaren is the only other team with both drivers officially under contract for next season, and chatter involving the possible replacing of Daniel Ricciardo due to his lackluster performance has died down, at least for the time being.

While team boss Zak Brown had earlier made comments that seemed to show a lack of confidence in the Australian driver, he recently walked those statements back, stating he had a great relationship with the driver and was merely being honest about his disappointment in the results.

Giving that the team chemistry is strong, the results have been somewhat improved, and McLaren is likely looking at a more than one-year path to get back to the front, there doesn’t seem any reason to not accept Brown’s comments at face value.

Alpha Tauri has officially announced Pierre Gasly will be returning next year. Although there seems to be no future in which the Frenchman regains his seat with the parent team, it seems for the time being there’s no better career path than to continue to put up strong results with the junior team and hope for a future opportunity somewhere else.

For their part, AT has no Red Bull juniors banging on the door and no immediate need to find the next driver to promote, so they can continue to stay with Gasly (currently 11th in the driver standings) and be competitive with the mid-field.

A decision on Yuki Tsunoda will likely not come until much later in the year. With Juri Vips being dismissed from the organization after making a racist comment during an online streaming session, the biggest challenger for Tsunoda’s seat is likely 19-year-old Dennis Hauger of Norway.

Hauger won the Formula 3 championship last year and currently stands fifth in Formula Two, winning the most recent race in Baku. If he’s able to combine a strong remainder of 2022 with a lack of success from Tsunoda, it’s possible he could enter the conversation at Alpha.

After an impressive eighth-place finish in Canada, several outlets have already reported that Alfa Romeo will be bringing back 2022 rookie Zhou Guanyu to again team with Valtteri Bottas, with the feeling that promising 18-year-old junior driver Théo Pourchaire would be best served by another year in Formula 2.

However, Porchaire could force the issue if he was able to come back and win the F2 championship.

Two former World Champions, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, both seem more likely than not to return alongside their current teammates, however both Aston Martin and Alpine have yet to make any public commitments.

Alpine continues to weigh the pros and cons of replacing Alonso with top prospect and current reserve driver Oscar Piastri, with their other option appearing still to be a loan of Piastri-to-Williams for one season.

The Piastri-to-Williams deal could be part of a bigger collaboration which would see Williams switching from its current Mercedes engines, which have been seen as underperforming, to being supplied by Alpine.

Alpine has been in search of a customer/partner team since being rebuffed by McLaren for Mercedes in 2021. Plus, Aston Martin still has Nico Hülkenberg available as an option should Vettel decide to retire.

Williams chief Jost Capito has been quiet as to the teams’ future plans (although he has attempted to squash speculation that Nicolas Latifi could be replaced before the end of the current season), but so far seems happy with the performance of Alex Albon, and an Albon/Piastri lineup seems the most likely pairing for 2023.

At Haas, Mick Schumacher still has yet to score a point, but he has at least stopped adding to the team’s already extensive repair bills, and the organization now seems more inclined to consider continuing the relationship going forward. Kevin Magnussen is already signed for 2023.

Someone who has not been part of the rumor mill is current Formula 2 leader Felipe Drugovich, who despite a comfortable lead over second-place Pourchaire remains without any contract with a top-level team. At 22-years-old and being prohibited from returning to F2 if he wins the championship, Drugovich may have to search for opportunities outside of F1.

As far as the travel arrangements for next year, talks have heated up about a return to the Kyalami circuit in South Africa, bolstered by a visit to the country from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

Qatar is coming back as the schedule is slated to expand to 25 races in 2023. Plus, Las Vegas will play host to the third F1 race on U.S. soil in November next year. China could be heading for a temporary absence from the schedule due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Otherwise, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, despite being one of the series’ most iconic races, could be at risk of being left out.

There also remains question marks about whether Mexico, Monaco and France will be back on the schedule.

We'll be back in a few weeks with another Silly Season update, be it driver- or track-related. Stay tuned!