F1 paddock: We recap all the driver changes

Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher

• Several Formula 1 teams announced driver changes this week ahead of the penultimate grand prix of 2020.

• Lewis Hamilton returned a positive Covid-19 test this week and will be replaced by Williams' George Russell. 

• Biggest news was the return of the Schumacher name to the sport, as Haas announced Mick as their 2021 driver. 


This week saw a tsunami of driver announcements in Formula 1. The week began with the announcement of freshly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Mercedes F1 said via a statement said: "(Lewis) woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest."

The team announced Williams' George Russell will replace Hamilton. Russell becomes only the third British drive to represent Mercedes since Sterling Moss and Hamilton. 

William's reserve driver Jack Aitken will replace Russell for this weekend's race. 

George Russell
F1 driver George Russell of Great Britain inspects the track with Mercedes engineers ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Haas' focus has been on Romain Grosjean's condition since his fiery crash at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix. The American team announced Pietro Fittipaldi will replace the Frenchman for this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix. 

The team also announced that it had signed F2 driver Nikita Mazepin from 2021 in a multi-year deal. Mazepin has impressed in the F2 championship with two wins and six podium finishes. 

The biggest news this week was the return of the Schumacher name to the top tier of motorsport. Haas confirmed its drive line-up for 2021 with Mick Schumacher signing for the Ferrari-powered team for next season. 

Schumacher's father Michael is the joint most successful driver in the sport with seven championships. Mick is on the brink of winning the F2 championship and said: "I want to acknowledge and extend my love to my parents - I know that I owe them everything. I have always realised that I would realise my dream of Formula 1."

Vacant seats

Mercedes and Hamilton have yet to agree on a new contract for 2021. Red Bull have also not made a decision on who will partner Max Verstappen, with Alex Albon staking his claim for a permanent seat in the energy drink company's team. 

AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat is another driver without a seat next year with the team yet to announce who will join Pierre Gasly. 


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
How should Haas' new driver Nikita Mazepin be punished for his awful behaviour?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
He should be removed from the team
48% - 376 votes
The FIA should give him a hefty fine.
12% - 97 votes
Won't matter, Dad's money will always save him.
40% - 313 votes
Vote