Formula 1: Top 5 pending free agents heading into 2023

Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)
Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Top 5 Formula 1 free agents: No. 1 – Lewis Hamilton

By far the biggest name on this list happens to be the sport’s all-time most successful driver in Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion and 103-time Grand Prix winner most recently signed a contract extension in the summer of 2021, but he remains without a deal to compete past 2023.

There have been all sort of rumors about Hamilton’s future and what he wants and doesn’t want in a potential new deal with Mercedes, and there have also been rumors about him retiring. Hamilton hasn’t taken too kindly to rumors about his future as he focuses on the year ahead.

But at some point, questions will need to be answered. Is this Hamilton’s final season? If not, will he be back with Mercedes? If so, for how long? Is a team switch even a possibility at this stage in his career?

Hamilton is looking to bounce back after a career-worst year in 2022 which saw his 15-year win streak come to an end. He also finished outside of the top five in the standings for the first time, and the all-time list of drivers to finish ahead of him in the standings increased by 50% (from eight to 12, which is still an insanely low number through 16 seasons).

Can Mercedes, which averaged nearly 14 wins per season from 2014 to 2021 before winning just a single race in 2022, get back to their winning ways and give Hamilton a winning car again in 2023? What will their success (or lack thereof) throughout the year mean for the future of the 38-year-old Briton?

Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, also isn’t confirmed by the Silver Arrows past 2023, but he signed a “multi-year” agreement with the team beginning in 2022, which generally means a two-year deal that contains an additional one-year team option.

Next. All-time Formula 1 wins list. dark

Based on that, it’s not as if Russell will be free to sign wherever he pleases — otherwise he too would be on this list after becoming the first teammate of Hamilton to beat him in the standings since Nico Rosberg won the 2016 world championship.