That was a looooong break. At least it seemed long. A little less than a month since the last race feels like an eternity to diehard fans of the sport. Mind you, there was still plenty of drama going on between the F1 teams. The trigger for the upcoming events seemed to be Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo announcing his switch from Red Bull to Renault Sport F1 starting in 2019.
Alonso announces his retirement
Fernando Alonso was one of the biggest names in the sport in the mid-2000s. A double world champion who won both his championships with Renault, he was one of the youngest drivers to win the title and the first to end the winning streak of the mighty Michael Schumacher. Despite coming off a win at the 24 hours of Le Mans race in France, he has yet to win a race or even make a podium this year. Most people theorise this is due to him being saddled to an underperforming McLaren, who haven’t been competitive since Hamilton raced with them. It’s unlikely that he’s retiring from racing altogether, as he has expressed interest in competing in IndyCar, in pursuit of the third jewel in the Motorsport Triple Crown (Indy 500). His departure from McLaren leaves an open spot on the team alongside Stoffel Vandoorne.
Pierre Gasly promoted to Red Bull
The Frenchman has had an interesting season, to say the least. Despite an underwhelming car, he has had a few decent races, most notably Bahrain, where he finished 4th. After Daniel Ricciardo announced he would leave Red Bull at the end of the 2018 season, it was revealed that Gasly would take his place to run second to Max Verstappen.
Force India saved by Lawrence Stroll
Sahara Force India was experiencing financial troubles lately and was set to not compete in the 2019 season, but was bought by a group of investors called Racing Point UK, led by Lawrence Stroll, father of current Williams driver Lance Stroll. This led to a name change for the team, now called Racing Point Force India, as well as an inevitable switch from Williams to Force India for Lance Stroll. Of course this won’t take place until next year, but all these driver changes did leave the door open for Danii Kvyat to make a return to F1.
The next race takes place in Italy at Monza!
Image credit: AutoWeek.com
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