Does Mercedes reserve driver’s exit trace at Ricciardo’s subsequent F1 transfer?

Former McLaren F1 driver Vandoorne will be a part of F2 champion Felipe Drugovich in Aston Martin’s driving roster subsequent season, alongside his Components E commitments with DS Penske.

The transfer means Mercedes have now misplaced each of their F1 reserve drivers, with Nyck de Vries being signed by AlphaTauri for a full-time seat subsequent yr.

Nevertheless, given Aston Martin’s buyer hyperlink to Mercedes, Vandoorne might nonetheless theoretically be out there to the Silver Arrows if required.

However, it creates an intriguing situation for Mercedes, who’ve been closely linked with signing Ricciardo in a reserve driver function after the Australian confirmed he is not going to be on the F1 2023 grid ollowing his McLaren departure. 

Ricciardo, who has additionally been linked with a return to Crimson Bull, confirmed he was in talks with groups about his plans for subsequent yr after ending a robust seventh on the Mexico Metropolis Grand Prix.  

“I’m speaking to groups,” he instructed Sky Sports activities. “I nonetheless need to maintain a foot within the door for 2024.

“Seeing the lights exit for race one, I’ll have an itch!”

What about Hulkenberg? 

The arrival of Drugovich and Vandoorne at Aston Martin additionally leaves query marks over the way forward for Nico Hulkenberg, who has served as Aston Martin’s reserve driver since 2021. 

Hulkenberg final raced full-time in F1 with Renault in 2019 however has made 5 substitute cameos for Racing Level and Aston Martin when their common drivers had been dominated out with COVID-19, most lately filling in for Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia firstly of the 2022 season. 

Aston Martin haven’t formally communicated Hulkenberg’s exit from the group, although the wording of their press launch inferred he is not going to be a part of their plans in 2023. 

“He [Vandoorne] will be a part of Brazil’s Drugovich as a take a look at and reserve driver – the pair dovetailing their duties throughout subsequent yr’s 24-race calendar,” it learn. 

The 35-year-old German has been linked with the sole-remaining seat at Haas and is considered in direct competitors with Mick Schumacher for the drive. 

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