Ric­cia­rdo and Verstappen in the frame for pos­si­ble seats at Mercedes and Fer­rari

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

With a num­ber of driv­ers out of con­tract at the end of 2016, a ma­jor change in For­mula 1’s driver line-up is in the off­ing

For­mula 1 is poised for a big shake-up in the driver mar­ket this sea­son with seats po­ten­tially avail­able at both Mercedes and Fer­rari. The con­tracts of both Nico Ros­berg and Kimi Raikko­nen ex­pire at the end of this sea­son, and the chances are that at least one of them will lose their drive.

This will have a knock-on ef­fect down the grid, be­cause both teams could find them­selves in the mar­ket for the same group of driv­ers – Red Bull’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen are of in­ter­est to both teams. Mean­while, both Wil­liams driv­ers are in the same po­si­tion and the team are said by in­sid­ers to be open to chang­ing both. And Jen­son But­ton will also be out of con­tract.

The prob­lem for both Mercedes and Fer­rari in mak­ing their de­ci­sion is that nei­ther Ric­cia­rdo nor Verstappen is the­o­ret­i­cally avail­able. The Dutch­man is un­der con­tract to Red Bull un­til the end of 2017, while Ric­cia­rdo’s con­tract runs for a fur­ther year be­yond that and has no exit clauses.

In the cir­cum­stances, how­ever, Red Bull may have to ac­cept los­ing one of them to keep the

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