(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)
The 2015 Formula One grid is taking shape nicely with the news today that Nico Hulkenberg will remain at Sahara Force India for next season.
The news means that another spot has been taken for next season. We are still waiting to find out what Sebastian Vettel will do next season as he is leaving Infiniti Red Bull Racing and is expected to join Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari for 2015 although this is yet to be officially confirmed by either the four time world champion or the Italian team.
McLaren have stated that they will announce their driver line up for next season ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi next month.
So what do we know so far?
Newly crowned Constructors champions Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team will remain unchanged with both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg staying at the team.
At Infiniti Red Bull Racing Daniel Ricciardo will be joined by Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat who makes the step up to the senior team following an impressive debut season in 2014. Kimi Raikkonen has a firm contract in place with Ferrari and has stated that he may stay with the Italian team beyond his current contract which runs until the end of next season.
Former Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemelo has confirmed that Fernando Alonso is leaving the team at the end of the season despite having two years left on his current contract. Although it yet to be confirmed it is expected that the Spaniard will return to McLaren where he drove in 2007 alongside Lewis Hamilton.
It is unclear who will drive alongside Alonso if he goes to McLaren, it was reported over the weekend that Jenson Button is considering a move to the World Endurance Championship for 2015 despite the fact that he has out-scored team mate Kevin Magnussen this season. It is believed that although no decision has been made by the Woking based outfit that they could have Magnussen and Alonso next season when they have a supply of Honda power units.
Nico Hulkenberg has been confirmed at Sahara Force India while his team mate Sergio Perez is likely to be retained for 2015 following an impressive season with the Silverstone based outfit.
Toro Rosso have confirmed that Max Verstappen will join the team next season and was set to drive alongside Daniil Kvyat however the team have now confirmed that they are looking at their options for the second seat with Jean Eric Vergne being considered aswell as Formula Renault 3.5 litre champion Carlos Sainz Jnr also being considered along with Red Bull backed Alex Lynn.
The Sauber F1 Team have yet to confirm their line up for next season with current drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez being considered aswell as their young driver Sergey Siroktin and Giedo Van Der Garde.
The Williams Martini Racing Team will field an unchanged line up next season with both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas confirmed for next season.
The Lotus F1 Team who will have a supply of Mercedes power units next season have already confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will remain with the team in 2015 and Romain Grosjean has stated that he expects to stay at the Enstone outfit next season with the new deal with Mercedes already looking like a promising partnership for the team.
The Caterham F1 Team are hopeful of retaining Marcus Ericsson for 2015 but their remains uncertainty over who will take the second seat although Kamui Kobayashi is likely to remain with the outfit.
The Marussia F1 Team are also yet to confirm their plans for next season. However it is not the right time for the Banbury based outfit to be thinking of 2015 drivers as the Formula One world continues to have Jules Bianchi in their thoughts and prayers as he continues to receive treatment following his horrific accident in the closing stages of the Japanese Grand Prix.
© Ben Johnston 2014