Formula 1 journalist drops bombshell during livestream

There is expected to be an in-season driver swap between two Formula 1 teams.

Spanish Formula 1 journalist Albert Fabrega shocked viewers in his livestream by claiming that there will be a driver swap in the near future between two teams.

“We will see changes,” he said in a live video.

“There is already movement in the market. Things are happening but I cannot say because they have told me not to say anything.”

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Fabrega divulged that he is not altogether shocked to see the news that one of the drivers in question is departing, but there is an element of surprise in the form of the driver who will replace him.

“The one who is leaving does not surprise me, the one who is arriving does,” he said somewhat cryptically, before confirming that there will be a change between two teams.

“It is a driver swap between teams,” he explained.

Fabrega did not specify which teams are involved, leaving plenty to the imagination as to which drivers he could be talking about.

He also made no mention of whether the swap will take place between two drivers on the existing grid, or whether there is set to be a promotion of a reserve driver.

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When Daniel Ricciardo missed the second pre-season test in Bahrain having contracted COVID-19, Alpine confirmed that they were prepared to allow Oscar Piastri to race for the Woking side were the 32-year-old unable to contest the opening round of the season in Sakhir.

Ricciardo has managed eight points in a difficult start to 2022 having already endured an extremely difficult debut season with McLaren last year, so there is speculation as to whether the British side are considering letting him go.

The Australian is out of contract at the end of the season, and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly has made it fairly clear that he wants to progress from the Red Bull junior team when his deal runs out at the end of 2023.

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Fans on social media are therefore speculating as to whether the Frenchman will move to McLaren, with Ricciardo heading back to his old team, but this would appear unlikely given the obvious devotion McLaren have put into the eight-time race winner.

There has previously been talk of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel walking away mid-season, but Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko suggested that it is not in the German’s character to give up prematurely.

Furthermore, Fabrega emphasised that the change would be a direct swap between two teams, and it is difficult to imagine why Vettel would walk away from his struggling team to go to a side that, realistically, would not be giving them much better fortunes than they are currently experiencing.

Fabrega is generally a highly trusted source within F1, so it will be interesting to see if this report will come to fruition.