With Lewis Hamilton’s bombshell move to Ferrari confirmed, we have predicted how the rest of the 2025 grid might shape up.
Given 14 drivers were out of contract heading into the new year, we should not be surprised that F1’s silly season has well and truly kicked off before cars have even hit the track.
Hamilton’s shock move to Ferrari has raised questions up and down the grid so we thought we would stick our head above the parapet and predict how each team will line up in 2025.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo
Starting at the front and Max Verstappen being at Red Bull in 2025 is about as sure a bet you can get but the occupant of the other side of the garage is still up for debate.
Sergio Perez is the incumbent but after a ropey 2023 and a contract that expires at the end of this year, he would need a very good 2024 to hold on to the spot.
And should he drop away, who will step into his place? One Daniel Ricciardo. Eight years after leaving the seat, the Honey Badger will be back in the top team to partner Verstappen once again.
Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton
One of the biggest surprise moves in F1 history was confirmed on February 1st when seven-time World Champion Hamilton opted to leave Mercedes for pastures new at Ferrari.
The shock exit, 11 years after he first arrived at Brackley, not only sets up an exciting partnership at the Italian team alongside Charles Leclerc but also raises the question as to what comes next for the Silver Arrows?
George Russell and Mick Schumacher
With an unexpected hole to fill, Mercedes find themselves in a tricky spot as the top tier drivers are largely tied down. Norris, Leclerc and Verstappen are all confirmed for 2025 and beyond and while the weight of Mercedes may have been enough to rock the apple cart in previous years, the Silver Arrows will find it harder to convince this time round.
But, barring a surprise move for Fernando Alonso, there is not an obvious candidate to plug the hole left by Hamilton so instead they may look for a stop gap and the ideal choice for that would be Mick Schumacher.
The reserve driver could help fill the void in 2025, giving Mercedes some more time to evaluate him but also sound out some other drivers on the grid. The promise of new engine regulations in 2026 and being a supplier could be enough to attract one of the sport’s best away from their rivals.
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
A duo that is already confirmed is that of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris at McLaren. Piastri committed his long-term future late last year and following reports he may be on his way to Red Bull, Norris too put pen to paper on a McLaren extension last week.
Therefore it is hard to see how they will be racing in anything other than papaya in 2025.
Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll
He couldn’t, could he? No sooner had Hamilton’s move to Ferrari been confirmed that people were wondering just whether Fernando Alonso would be the name chosen by Mercedes for the 2025 seat.
While it would be an extraordinary move, chances are two bombshells of that magnitude are unrealistic, but Alonso extending his deal at Aston beyond its 2024 end date seems a foregone conclusion.
As does the future of Lance Stroll, with it seemingly being only himself who can decide whether he is ready to go.
Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon
Alpine are also in a tricky spot of not being an overly attractive team right now given their recent trajectory but that could turn around in 2024 providing they solve their engine issues.
At the moment, it would appear likely both Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon are given contract extensions but do not rule out a surprise promotion of Jack Doohan.
Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant
With the Ferrari team confirmed, it makes Alex Albon staying at Williams a lot more likely which raises the question of what happens to Logan Sargeant?
The American appeared to just hang onto the spot after his rookie year in 2023 but if there is not a serious uptake in performances in 2024, he will likely not do the same going into 2025.
But one saving grace for Sargeant is the lack of clear alternatives. Liam Lawson had been linked for a possible loan move but that seems off the table and there is not a natural option within the Williams academy currently.
Perhaps, then, Williams give Sargeant another year to show if he is worth keeping on.
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Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson
With Ricciardo moving up in that scenario, that leaves a spot at Red Bull’s second team which is clearly going to be filled by Liam Lawson.
His substitute appearances in 2023 showed he was ready for the step up but Red Bull unfortunately did not have the seats to go around.
For Yuki Tsunoda, it may well be his last year in the Red Bull family as Honda switch over to Aston Martin.
Carlos Sainz and Théo Pourchaire
As to where Carlos Sainz ends up in all this, the most likely answer appears to be Stake F1.
With Audi approaching in 2026, Stake could be an attractive option in 2025 and considering Sainz Sr’s connection to the German brand, it is obvious why his son is being linked to the seat.
In terms of the other, we think Stake might be bold and give Théo Pourchaire a shot after some impressive years in the junior series.
That does mean an exit for Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas, with the latter likely retiring from F1 at that point.
Oliver Bearman and Nico Hulkenberg
If Sainz does move to Stake, that could be good news for Haas with Nico Hulkenberg another name linked to the Swiss team.
Haas could really do with hanging on to the servies of Hulkenberg who proved to be an exellent qualifier in 2023 and has the level of experience they are after.
In terms of the other seats, Haas could do with being a bit bold so why not give Ferrari youngster Oliver Bearman a go?
Kevin Magnussen did not set the world alight in 2023 and Haas may find they get more mileage out of an up-and-coming driver rather than a veteran, even if they did have their fingers burned with Mick Schumacher.