Formula 1 mock draft: How the grid might look if teams drafted drivers

What if Formula 1 operated an NFL-style draft system? Who would the teams select, and how would the season pan out?
Formula 1
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1. Haas: Max Verstappen

The easiest pick to make. If you’ve got the first pick, you pick the best driver, and Max Verstappen has shown himself to be the top talent on the Formula 1 grid over the last few years. 

Sure, he’s had some back-and-forth battles with Lewis Hamilton back in the days when Mercedes had a competitive car, but the upside of selecting Verstappen over Hamilton, most notably his age, makes him the slam-dunk first pick in this draft.

It would be fascinating to see how much Verstappen could squeeze out of a sub-optimal Haas car, and his in-car radio communications could be pretty interesting, too, as he battles the sort of issues he has rarely encountered in his Red Bull.

2. Sauber: Charles Leclerc

Not only is this a smart pick for Sauber, as they snap up the Ferrari ace, but it also sees the team reunite with a familiar face.

Charles Leclerc’s full-time Formua 1 career started with the Sauber team back in 2018, when he finished 13th in the standings and earned 39 championship points in a less-than-competitive car. His talent behind the wheel was clear for all to see, however, and he was quickly snapped up by Ferrari for the following season.

Now, in our draft, Leclerc goes back to the future as he returns to Sauber looking to drag their Kick and Stake-branded car further up the grid. It’s a tough ask for the Monegasque racer, but it’ll be a lot of fun to see how far he can carve his way through the field.