2019 F1 driver’s line-up puzzle so far

A few shocking changes happened on the 2019 F1 drivers’ grid, as some risk-taking drivers pulled ahead, leaving many established stars in their dust. At least some hot seats are still available for the upcoming championship and tons of betting opportunities too.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso, for a start, continues to give away nothing about his future, which throws a major spanner in the next season of Formula One, one that may prove to be too much for serious betters to pass up. The Spaniard is supposed to be leaving F1 at the end of the year, but it’s hardly a guaranteed retirement. Le Mans, Indycar and even Nascar remain very much on the table. “What I will do depends on what makes me happy,” Alonso told El Mundo Deportivo in Singapore. “I am trying to do something special and be the best driver in the motor racing world, not just F1,” the Spaniard added.

Meanwhile, the leading world champion, Lewis Hamilton’s dominance of F1 since the start of the turbo era continues as he stays with Mercedes for the upcoming season, along with Valtteri Bottas. Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel are extending their contracts too for Ferarri and Red Bull respectively.

2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who is the eldest driver in the current grid, will keep his F1 career flourishing for another two seasons at a minimum, despite losing his place at Ferrari to newcomer Charles Leclerc, who until now has been driving for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team.

In another shocking switch, Daniel Ricciardo concluded his long association with Red Bull and join engine maker Renault on a two-year deal 2019 in a surprise move that jolted F1 ahead of its first-half shutdown.

Money doesn’t talk it screams

Some talented F1 driver could be forced to leave F1, as newer drivers with fresh new sponsorship deals start to elbow out established racers – Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Ocon, for example, have admitted that their F1 careers could well be racing towards that chequered flag before too long. Belgian Vandoorne is losing his McLaren seat, while talented Frenchman Ocon looks set to be ousted at Force India by Lance Stroll, whose billionaire father Lawrence has bought the team.

“There are some indications that I am in the same kind of trouble as Ocon,” Vandoorne said in Singapore, “every day it seems that another option closes to me.”

He said it would be “nice to know” why McLaren decided to replace him for 2019 with rookie Lando Norris. “Now we are looking at my options, and not only in formula one,” said Vandoorne.

Similarly, Ocon told reporters in Singapore that his chances of staying in F1 next year “get smaller” with every passing day.

“It’s hard to believe that a month ago everything was fine for me and now I’m in this situation,” he said.

But Ocon also admitted that Williams could be an option. “Negotiations are underway, possibly with Williams as well, but so far nothing is clear,” he said.

Big shake ups, big opportunities

With these sorts of gigantic shake-ups in play, it has become a particularly exciting time to bet on Formula 1 racing. The lack of “sure things” means that it’s not necessarily for novices and casual betters but those who live by the mantra of “the bigger the risk, the bigger the payout” should find themselves in heaven with upcoming seasons in F1.

This kind of risk, though, means that you want to make sure you only turn to the best betting sites to trust with your hard-earned money. Losing your money because of a close race or a sudden upset is one thing; losing it because you placed your bet with an untrustworthy site is quite another. The best betting sites also provide the best and most up to date odds on any given race. As an example, you might find the odds of Ocon winning his next race at 10-1 on one such site, and 5-2 on another site so using a linking site with quick links to various bookmakers is a huge bonus. Plus, the very best sites often offer plenty of free promotions to both new and dedicated customers.

Kvyat and Kubica to make returns

It’s not just the leaving of established favourites that will make the upcoming season so exciting for fans and punters alike. Some very familiar faces will also be making a return, making the outcome of next year’s F1 all the more uncertain and exciting. How about the fact that Daniil Kvyat looks to have secured his return to formula one? The Russian’s career has been a rollercoaster in recent years, as he debuted for Toro Rosso, got a swift promotion to Red Bull, was demoted back to Toro Rosso and then ousted altogether!

He is currently a Ferrari simulator driver but it appears that Red Bull is giving him yet another chance in the Big Leagues. The 24-year-old Kvyat is set to return to Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly.

“He will drive for Toro Rosso next year. Contract signed,” former F1 driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport Totaal.

Claire Williams says it is “likely” that Robert Kubica will step in to replace the Force-India-bound Lance Stroll. It is believed that Stroll will join his father Lawrence at Racing Point Force India from Singapore, after the billionaire fashion mogul rescued that team.

“We don’t know when but Lance will probably leave the team,” Williams boss Claire Williams told Speed Week.

“We wish Lance and Lawrence good luck, but it means nothing other than one driver leaving Williams and another taking his place,” she insisted.

Pole Kubica is Williams’ reserve driver, but it is rumoured that the British team will have to sign a ‘pay driver’ to help fill the financial gap left by Stroll.

Williams said: “If Lance actually leaves, it’s more likely than not that Robert will replace him.”