‘Biggest’ 2025 driver changes predicted with shock moves for Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas

Michelle Foster
Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon

Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon could change teams in 2025

Esteban Ocon will join Haas next season while Valtteri Bottas returns to Williams and Kimi Antonelli gets the Mercedes seat alongside George Russell.

At the start of a year in which all ten teams continued with the line-up they ran in the final races of the 2023 season, Lewis Hamilton ensured the continuity wouldn’t continue for a third season when he announced he would be leaving Mercedes at the end of the year.

‘And then comes the biggest one…’

Swapping the Silver Arrows for the iconic Ferrari red, the seven-time World Champion began F1’s silly season with a bang as Carlos Sainz was left pondering his future and Mercedes found themselves in the hunt for a new driver.

Almost three and a half months later, the rumours surrounding both Sainz and Mercedes continue to make headlines while bit by bit teams or drivers have erased their names from the list of possibilities.

The latest to do so was Nico Hulkenberg who will be leaving Haas for Sauber, meaning either Valtteri Bottas or Zhou Guanyu is out. More recent rumours claim it is both.

But it may not be that both Sauber team-mates are out of Formula 1 altogether with Ziggo Sports’ Jack Plooij believing Bottas will find a landing with his old team Williams.

That’s because Williams won’t be signing Kimi Antonelli as Logan Sargeant’s replacement with the Formula 2 driver stepping directly into the Mercedes line-up alongside Russell.

Looking into his crystal ball for Ziggo’s Race Café, Plooij predicted: “Verstappen and Perez are staying. Russell is already there, at Mercedes, and we will place, yes, Kimi Antonelli there.

“Gasly stays at Alpine, and then Jack Doohan joins. Bottas returns to Williams with Albon. Yuki Tsunoda is doing very well, so he can stay. Lawson gets the chance, he can do it, at RB. Then Sainz goes to Audi and Bearman goes to Haas.

“And then comes the biggest one: Ocon is also going to Haas!”

How the 2025 grid is shaping up

👉F1 2024 strugglers giving drivers ‘a lot to consider’ before committing their futures

👉The 10 drivers out of contract at the end of the F1 2024 season

The 2025 line-up according to Plooij and contracts

10 of the 20 drivers for next season have been confirmed with Max Verstappen staying at Red Bull and George Russell at Mercedes while Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin have their full line-ups signed up.

Alex Albon is another driver with a contract as he’ll spend a third season with Williams while Hulkenberg has his new multi-year deal with Sauber.

As for the rest…

Red Bull: Max Verstappen / Sergio Perez
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc / Lewis Hamilton
McLaren: Lando Norris / Oscar Piastri
Mercedes: George Russell / Kimi Antonelli
Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso / Lance Stroll
RB: Yuki Tsunoda / Liam Lawson
Haas: Esteban Ocon / Oliver Bearman
Alpine: Pierre Gasly / Jack Doohan
Williams: Alex Albon / Valtteri Bottas
Sauber: Nico Hulkenberg / Carlos Sainz

Read next: ‘Not sure has the staying power’ – More Logan Sargeant doubts emerge with US dream fading