Driver market ‘trigger’ pulled with F1 2025 grid predicted to fill up in next ‘couple of weeks’

Henry Valantine
A studio shot of Audi F1 showcar from behind

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Alex Albon explained that Nico Hulkenberg’s move to Sauber was something of a “trigger” in this season’s driver market, and it could mean big decisions for the whole grid might happen within the next “couple of weeks.”

It was announced ahead of the Miami Grand Prix that Hulkenberg will move to Sauber next season on a multi-year deal to straddle their transition to Audi for 2026, in a key move on the driver market.

Alex Albon: Nico Hulkenberg move may kick silly season into gear ‘very quickly’

Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi made it clear the team are also looking at Carlos Sainz to fill their second place on the team next season. But with 10 spots left on the grid to fill that are uncontracted as it stands and a scramble to get the best seat possible, Albon explained that drivers’ representatives are coming to races earlier this year to try and state their case.

Because of that, he thinks the whole field for next season could be decided in as little as two weeks’ time, with contracts to be decided upon up and down the field.

“Everything’s moving early, everything’s moving very quickly,” Albon told media in Miami at the weekend.

“Obviously, Nico [Hulkenberg] has just pulled somewhat of a trigger at Sauber and I’m sure the second one is going to follow soon.

“And everything, including my focus on where I go, not so much for next year, but the year after, and focusing on that side of things, it’s these next couple of weeks are where all the decisions I think for the whole grid is going to be finalised.” recommends

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Albon admitted it is earlier than usual to see the grid start to fill up, but with so many seats available, he has spotted driver agents in the paddock as they go about looking for the best deals for their clients.

“I think it’s new for everyone, not just myself,” he added.

“But yeah, there’s a there’s a bit more work. You see a lot more managers walking around the paddock at this time of the year!”

Williams team principal James Vowles confirmed that Albon remains under contract with the team until 2025, having signed him on a multi-year deal when he joined after a stint as Red Bull’s reserve driver.

Albon is yet to get off the mark in the World Championship so far this season, with Williams having struggled to make it into the points-paying positions.

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