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Can drivers swap cars in F1?

If you are a die-hard F1 fan, this is a thought that has crossed your mind whether F1 drivers could swap their cars – here’s everything you need to know about it

Two formula one driver can swap their cars if needed but within a team. While there might be no rule stopping this practice, it is not common in F1. A regular example of two F1 drivers swapping cars is when Hamilton and Bottas swapped their chassis when they were a part of the Mercedes F1 team. It is something they do every season as part of how the Mercedes F1 team works.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas celebrate another title for Mercedes (Image credit: Getty)

On the race track, there are instances when drivers can swap cars, but that is only swapping track positions. This is when the team orders their drivers to do so. It is common to hear team orders when a team is fighting for constructors’ or drivers’ championships.

A recent example of drivers from the same team swapping chassis which we can think of is from the 2021 F1 World Championship. Mercedes Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas swapped chassis between Azerbaijan and French Grand Prix. The change was a part of the adapted plan adopted by the team after Bottas’s crash in the Emilia Romagna GP in April. Bottas took over chassis six, which Hamilton used for the first six races of the season, for the French Grand Prix weekend. Hamilton used chassis four, which Bottas used from Portugal to Azerbaijan.

Can F1 drivers from two different teams swap cars?

Well, now that you know drivers from the same team can swap cars, you must be curious to know if the same applies for drivers from different teams!

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There have been suggestions of two f1 drivers swapping cars. it has come from an f1 driver itself. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has in the past said that he would be willing to swap cars with Lewis Hamilton. He would do this to prove that he is the faster f1 driver. While many F1 fans would wish to see such a swap, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstapppen
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton after the Grand Prix of Portugal at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve (Imago)

The closest we can get to having Verstappen and Hamilton racing in the same machine was if they could be on the same F1 team. It is the kind of banter than can excite some. However, at the moment the idea of these two f1 drivers swapping cars remains just that, an idea.

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