Formula 1’s driver line-up is seeing its most sweeping changes in years, as titans of the grid switch teams, fresh faces make their debuts and some old names make their return to the paddock.
Daniel Ricciardo’s announcement last August that he was to leave Red Bull at the end of 2018 was the first signal that the 2019 season would look rather different.
However, few could have predicted the influx of announcements that we’d see before the 2018 finale in Abu Dhabi.
Ricciardo’s move to Renault proved a catalyst for change across the grid.
The Australian’s seat was filled by Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly, which lead to a whole new rosta at Red Bull’s B-team.
Carlos Sainz was snapped up by McLaren after losing his spot at Renault.
Sainz’s McLaren teammate was announced as F2 runner-up Lando Norris, after one of the biggest, but not least expected, announcements of Fernando Alonso’s retirement from F1 after 17 years.
Another big announcement ahead of 2019 was the promotion of Sauber’s Charles Leclerc to Ferrari, swapping seats with Kimi Raikkonen.
Full driver line-up for F1 2019
- Lewis Hamilton
- Veltteri Bottas
- Sebastian Vettel
- Charles Leclerc
- Max Verstappen
- Pierre Gasly
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Lance Stroll
- Sergio Perez
- Carlos Sainz
- Lando Norris
- Kevin Magnussen
- Romain Grosjean
- Daniil Kyvat
- Alexander Albon
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Antonio Giovinazzi
- George Russell
- Robert Kubica
The first race of the 2019 Formula 1 calendar is the Australian Grand Prix, on March 17.