Major F1 2025 announcement as big change confirmed on calendar – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
F1 news for Friday includes the release of the 2025 calendar.

The 2025 calendar is here, and the season opener will be returning to Australia next season.

Friday’s F1 news saw the announcement of the 2025 calendar, and much more as we head into the weekend.

The current season is only four races old but we already know the schedule for next season, as the sport gets prepared for another joint-record calendar next time around.

F1 news: 2025 calendar announced as Australia returns as season opener

So with that calendar announcement, Australia will be back to the top of the schedule for the first time since 2019 as Formula 1 front-loads the season with five races in six weekends to kick off the year.

A double-header of Melbourne and China will then be followed by a triple-header of Japan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to kick off the 2025 campaign.

There will be a couple of weeks extra for the off-season this time however, with the Australian Grand Prix not due to take place until 16 March 2025, with Abu Dhabi rounding off another 24-race schedule on 7 December next year.

Read more: Official: F1 2025 calendar announced with major change to start Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari era

Lewis Hamilton: Australia is ‘best first race’

With Melbourne announced as the first venue where Lewis Hamilton will race as a Ferrari driver, he spoke before the confirmation that the race would be the season opener again.

He confirmed it would be the case, and explained that it makes him feel like it is earlier in his career, due to Albert Park’s status as a long-time curtain-raiser in Formula 1.

“I love this track, this race,” Hamilton recently told media in Melbourne.

“I think it was always the best first race of the season, so it’s exciting to hear that this is the first one next year – it just takes me back to when I first started.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton reacts to major F1 2025 calendar news with first Ferrari race venue confirmed

Fernando Alonso: ‘Easy’ choice to stay with Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso admitted preliminary talks did take place with other teams, but added committing his future to Aston Martin was always his “priority” and stayed true to his word on that.

“I did speak with other people as well,” he confirmed to the media including “I think it’s normal when you enter negotiations, you need to balance a little bit what is the market.

“You need to listen to everyone else as well. It’s just a normal procedure, and I think it’s fair to listen to all the proposals and see how the market moves. I don’t know, in my head, Aston was the logical thing for me to do.

“At the end, it was also the best and the most, I felt the most wanted in Aston Martin. All the other conversations were just light, and never came to any conclusions or something like that.”

Read more: Fernando Alonso quizzed on Red Bull and Mercedes talks before ‘easy’ Aston Martin choice

Reports link Carlos Sainz closer to Mercedes

Multiple reports from Italy on Friday have linked Carlos Sainz with Mercedes, with La Gazzetta dello Sport in particular writing that ‘qualified sources’ indicating an ‘exchange’ with Lewis Hamilton is now ‘looming’.

Several other publications in Italy have stated that the outgoing Ferrari driver could be in line for a move to replace Hamilton at Mercedes in what would amount to something of a seat swap, should such a move take place.

Toto Wolff has mentioned Sainz’s name among the candidates to replace Hamilton of late, but admitted Max Verstappen remains his top target if he is in any way moveable from Red Bull, while Kimi Antonelli is also in the wings as Mercedes’ junior driver.

Read more: Huge Carlos Sainz ‘development’ with ‘exchange looming’ for F1 2025 move – reports

Adrian Newey: RB20 ‘actually extremely similar’ to RB18

While this year’s Red Bull looks very different on the outside to its predecessors, Adrian Newey confirmed that the car underneath it is not far separated from the 2022 challenger that started its run of success in the first place.

The RB19 was already an evolution of its highly-successful RB18, and the team have done the same again this year.

“Because it’s quite a big visual change, people make these comments – the truth is that the underpinnings of the car, the key architectural layout, front and rear suspension, is the third evolution of what was the RB18, so [it’s] actually extremely similar,” he told RacingNews365.

“Obviously, there are then some significant visual changes, mainly revolving around the radiators and cooling layout which have brought benefits.

“It is one of those where it’s a large visual change for what is actually, in truth, a smaller performance change. Details on the floor have also evolved and nobody, of course, notices!”

Read more: Adrian Newey sets record straight on Red Bull design philosophy after ‘large visual change’