Fernando Alonso to Mercedes, Alex Albon to Audi and more Marcus Ericsson F1 predictions

Oliver Harden
Fernando Alonso pictured after qualifying for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso's astonishly long F1 career continues into 2024, with no signs of him slowing down.

Former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson has delivered a new round of silly season predictions after Lewis Hamilton’s shock move to Ferrari for 2025.

Ericsson, who made a total of 97 F1 starts for Caterham and Sauber between 2014 and 2018, emerged as a surprise tipster following Fernando Alonso’s decision to leave Alpine for Aston Martin in the summer of 2022.

The Swede accurately predicted that Pierre Gasly would replace Alonso at Alpine for 2023 and correctly guessed that Oscar Piastri would start his F1 career at McLaren alongside Lando Norris.

Fernando Alonso and Alex Albon battling to replace Lewis Hamilton?

Not all of Mystic Marcus’s predictions proved accurate, however, with the IndyCar star also reckoning Mick Schumacher would join AlphaTauri and Daniel Ricciardo replacing Schumacher at Haas.

Ericsson also incorrectly guessed that Nyck de Vries would partner Alex Albon at Williams, with the Dutchman instead signed by AlphaTauri after impressing in a Williams sub appearance at Monza later that season.

With Hamilton’s move set to have a huge ripple effect on the rest of the driver market – starting with the driver he will replace at Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, who is now searching for a new home, Ericsson has come up with two different scenarios for the 2025 silly season in a social media post.

The first sees Alex Albon promoted to Mercedes as Hamilton’s successor, with Sainz joining Sauber ahead of Audi’s takeover of the team in 2026.

Ericsson believes that would open the door for Daniel Ricciardo to return to Red Bull as Sergio Perez’s replacement for 2025, with Perez partnering promising Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli at Williams.

The second scenario Ericsson has proposed would see two-time World Champion Alonso replace Hamilton at Mercedes, with Albon heading to Audi and Sainz returning to the Red Bull fold as Max Verstappen’s team-mate.

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Sainz is unlikely to be short of options following his departure from Ferrari, with the Spaniard – the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race in 2023 – frequently linked with a switch to Audi over the last 12 months.

Following his victory with Audi at last month’s Dakar Rally, Sainz’s father claimed the German manufacturer is “guaranteed” to be a success in F1 and revealed he has “exchanged views” with the Ferrari start about linking up with the project.

Meanwhile, Mercedes driver George Russell has dropped a strong hint that Sainz is his preferred choice to replace Hamilton for 2025.

Russell posted an image on social media of himself patting Sainz on the back at last year’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix along with the caption: “The crossovers we love to see.”

Read next: Revealed: The remarkable 36-hour timeline behind Lewis Hamilton’s shock Ferrari move