As dominos are starting to (slowly) fall into place, let's take a look at where things stand.
Considering how the world of Formula one is, half of what you're about to read will be irrelevant in the next 48 hours or so. F1 has been engulfed with endless rumors for the past few weeks, which have only gained momentum, even if they had no truth holding them up to begin with.
The reason being because there are very few facts out there for us to chew on at the moment. Where there aren't facts, speculation fills the void. In a nutshell, here's a look at where everything is at right now.
(*Note - All of this is based off the assumption that three-car teams will not happen)
Nico Rosberg CONFIRMED: He has already signed a multi-year contract extension with Mercedes and will not be leaving the team.
Lewis Hamilton CONFIRMED: There's a chance we could see him out the door at the end of the 2015 seson, but we're just focusing on right now. His relationship with Nico seems better, especially since he now closes in on his second WC.
Daniel Ricciardo CONFIRMED: He signed a three-year deal, but it was pending on his performance, which, needless to say, has been spectacular thus far. He's already established himself as the new No. 1 driver at Red Bull.
Daniil Kvyat CONFIRMED: With the exit of Sebastian Vettel, the team has signed the young Russian to take his place after a solid rookie season with Toro Rosso.
Kimi Raikkonen CONFIRMED: The Finn has no intentions of leaving Maranello and has repeatedly said that the day he leaves Ferrari is the day he retires from F1 (and potentially returns to NASCAR).
Sebastian Vettel UNCONFIRMED: This deal is done, but Ferrari hasn't announced it yet. The reason being this ... There is a clause in Alonso's contract. If the team are the ones to legally end the relationship, then they must pay the Spaniard a substantial sum of money. If it's Alonso, then they don't have to empty their wallets. So these two are in a proverbial staring contest to see who blinks first at the moment, but the Vettel deal has been publicly confirmed by basically everyone but Ferrari themselves (Even Montezemolo confirmed FA's departure).
Jenson Button UNKNOWN: It is believed that we will not see the 2009 World Champion at McLaren next year, losing his seat to the incoming Fernando Alonso. However, it appears that he will join Mark Webber at Porsche and contest the 2015 WEC championship, so he won't be left out in the old. He could still keep that McLaren seat though; it all depends on the ongoing contract negotiations with Alonso.
Kevin Magnussen UNKNOWN: His future is also unknown, but it is believed he will maintain his position with the team. The only way he loses out is if a driver such as Hamilton would suddenly jump ship and both Magnussen and Button get ousted. If that unlikely situation were to take place though, Alonso would likely do a 180 and run to Mercedes, still leaving Magnussen's place within McLaren intact.
Fernando Alonso UNCONFIRMED: Pick a rumor and just go with it for this one. His future points towards McLaren, but that still remains very unclear with rumors running wild regarding the popular Spaniard. If he doesn't get his way with McLaren, he has other lucrative options such as a one-year sabbatical that would take him to Le Mans, driving an Audi LMP1 car.
Felipe Massa CONFIRMED: Williams has confirmed that the Brazilian will stay with the team through 2015.
Valterri Bottas CONFIRMED: Same story at Massa. He has been confirmed for 2015 and has actually outperformed his veteran teammate in most races this season.
Max Verstappen CONFIRMED: The toddler, sorry, meant teenager, will become the youngest driver in Formula One history once the Australian GP gets underway next year.
Jean-Eric Vergne UNCONFIRMED: He seemed to be in the Twilight of his F1 career until Sebastian Vettel went and turned the F1 Silly Season on its head. Vergne has a number of young drivers foaming at the mouth to take his ride, but Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost has come out in defense of Vergne, citing that they aren't too keen on doubling down with two rookies, but the decision ultimately lies with their parent team, Red Bull Racing.
Carlos Sainz Jr. UNCONFIRMED: The frontrunner to take Vergne's seat is Carlos Sainz Jr., who has been very vocal about his desire to break into F1. He is the newly crowned Formula Renault 3.5 champion and it would go with the history of Toro Rosso to pair two new guys together. And going back to Red Bull, since they will play a major role in the decision and they've overlooked Vergne twice in regards to promotions, he may be moved to the side in favor of Sainz here.
Other young stars in the running: We have Alex Lynn, Pierre Gasly, and even Felix da Costa who have all been mentioned for the second Toro Rosso seat. It's a bit of stretch that any of these three will get it over Sainz and Vergne, but all have showed promise in their young careers and are still potential canidates.
Marcus Ericsson CONFIRMED: The Caterham driver was recently announced as one of Sauber's 2015 pilots.
Felipe Nasr CONFIRMED: The three-year veteran of GP2 is having a great year in the series and currently serves as a reserve/test driver for the Williams-Martini F1 team. Sauber has just announced that he will join Ericsson in 2015 however, leaving both of their current drivers (Sutil and Gutierrez) without rides. This saga may not be over though with a potential legal war on the horizon from infuriated backers of Van Der Garde, Sirotkin, and then there's Sutil who technically has a contract and might get the CRB involved.
Sergio Perez UNCONFIRMED: Both Perez and team owner Vijay Mallya have spoken out in recent days, erasing doubts that their partnership would be coming to an end any time soon. Like Hamilton, pen has yet to hit paper, but it's highly doubtful we will see any change here.
Nico Hulkenberg CONFIRMED: The 'Hulk' is set to return with Force India in 2015, but many feel that he should have a seat with a No. 1 team by now. It hasn't worked out for the German, but Force India is still a respectable team that has shown flashes of greatness.
Pastor Maldonado CONFIRMED: Mister money bags will be staying put next year, as Lotus confirmed earlier in the season. The Venezuelan is fresh off an impressive run at COTA, scoring multiple points for the struggling team.
Romain Grosjean UNCONFIRMED: Grosjean recently revealed that despite his contract, he could leave the team should he choose to, due to a performance clause that the team has far from met in 2014. Will he leave though? It's doubtful. Lotus still has the potential to rise back to the top again and any other realistic option for Grosjean would seem as a step down from Lotus.
Esteban Ocon UNKNOWN: There are some rumors that Ocon, who will make his FP1 debut with the team at Abu Dhabi, will replace Grosjean if he were to leave. Even if that is true, it doesn't look like his countryman is going anywhere
Marussia - Defunct
Sadly, it's been revealed that Marussia has officially fallen. They have ceased all trading and are closing their doors as the employees have been made redundant.
We have no idea if Caterham will survive at all. It has fallen apart and is desperate to find new investors to salvage what's left of the Leafield-based team. Finbarr O’Connell, the administrator for Caterham, is confident that they will make the grid for the Abu Dhabi season finale, which would shock us all to be honest. Before the collapse, they had apparently planned to run Rubens Barrichello in Kamui Kobayashi's place for the final three events of the season. As for their 2015 driver lineup, Kobayashi could retain his place within the team, but as they've already shown multiple times this year, they will not hesitate to bounce him should anyone come along with some cash. Both seats at Caterham will probably be filled by pay drivers in 2015, but if not, Kobayashi will likely hold on and keep his F1 dream alive, just barely.
Teams Confirmed - 10
Drivers Confirmed - 12