Formula 1 is in an off-cycle year for most of the grid’s contracts, but there’s considerable intrigue around two big players who could still shake up the sport. After all, last year was supposed to be a sedate silly season, but it required the retirement of only one driver — Sebastian Vettel — to set off one of the most chaotic driver market chain reactions in years.
While it’s difficult to imagine an Oscar Piastri-esque contract bomb blowing up this year, the fact Lewis Hamilton is yet to renew terms at Mercedes means he remains a live option in the market. Daniel Ricciardo is also the source of considerable speculation. He’s back in F1 not to race at AlphaTauri but to take Sergio Pérez’s seat, and to an extent it’s in his hands to accelerate towards his end game.
With as many as four other teams with drivers up for renewal, there’s still plenty of combustible potential in the next few months as silly season draws to a close.