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When Lewis Hamilton announced his move to Ferrari from Mercedes in February the merry go round of driver moves began. Rumours swirling around the paddock and social media of who will go where and who we might not see in F1 next year.

The first driver without a seat was of course current Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz who after being replaced by the incoming 7x World Champion now was without a seat for next year. Sainz should be in a top team and he has shown that during his time at the Scuderia.

With interest up and down the paddock it was time for Sainz to consider his options with links to Red Bull, Mercedes, Audi and Williams there were plenty of good seats available. Early on however Mercedes made it clear they wanted the young Italian driver Kimi Antonelli who is part of the Mercedes Young Driver Program and currently racing from Prema in F2. Mercedes see Antonelli as the next Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen and are keen to have the Italian driver in F1 sooner rather than later.

More recently Red Bull announced the contract extension of Sergio Perez up to 2026. However if Perez doesn't perform he could be out of a seat by next year.

So really Sainz has Audi and Williams left - currently at the time of writing it looks like he will end up at Williams alongside Alex Albon.

Lets go through the seats that have been filled...

We now know that Red Bull is unchanged for 2025 with Verstappen and Perez.

  • Ferrari is confirmed as Leclerc and Hamilton.

  • McLaren is also unchanged keeping Norris and Piastri.

  • Aston Martin are staying with Alonso and although its not been confirmed yet we can expect Stroll to be in the second car next year.

  • Mercedes have Russell.

  • Williams have Albon.

  • Sauber / Audi have confirmed Hulkenberg.

  • RB have announced Tsunoda will be staying with the team for 2025.

That leaves us with 8 seats. We have one at Williams, Audi, Mercedes and RB and then both seats at Alpine and Haas.

As we know it looks more and more likely that Sainz will sign for the team in Grove and replace Logan Sargeant. Thats Williams sorted.

Another team who looks set in their decision over the second seat is Mercedes who look like they will confirm Antonelli if they are given the green light by various governing bodies due to the fact Antonelli isn't 18 yet and doesn't have the required Super License points to race in F1.

Next we have Audi who confirmed Nico Hulkenberg who has been a long term target for the German outfit. The question is who will be his teammate and if Sainz goes to Williams as expected we have several options two being the current Sauber / Audi drivers of Bottas and Zhou - both very good options for a team like Audi - you have Bottas a multiple race winner and experienced driver or you have Zhou a younger talent with plenty of potential and a large backing of the Chinese motor industry. Or you have the recently released Ocon from Alpine who announced after Monaco the Frenchman would not be driving for them next year - again a very good option for Audi - a race winner and a very quick driver on his day.

Next up we have RB who recently announced Tsunoda would be staying with the team after some impressive performances by the Japanese driver. Ricciardo looks like he will be staying but if they decide not to go with Daniel - the most likely candidate is Liam Lawson who showed last season that he is capable of the step up to Formula One - no one else has really been linked the team as of yet.

Now to Alpine - currently no drivers confirmed yet however Gasly looks like he will be staying at the Enstone based team. His teammate at the moment looks a though it will be fellow countryman Victor Martins who is currently racing for ART in F2. Martins is part of the Alpine Academy. Alpine could also choose to replace Ocon with Jack Doohan who is also part of the Alpine Academy set up.

Finally we have Haas. Reports were coming out before the Canadian Grand Prix that they had a agreed a deal with Ferrari Junior Oliver Bearman for 2025 after the Brit's impressive drive to points in Saudi Arabia. I think Bearman is certainly ready for F1 similar to Lawson and would be a great fit at Haas alongside an experienced teammate. Magnussen I don't think is set for the other seat. Ocon and Zhou have both been linked with Haas. Ocon looks the more likely candidate for that seat if Magnussen is replaced.

With all that said we do look set to say goodbye to some drivers come the end of 2024. Sargeant looks like he will be off the grid in 2025. Magnussen, Ricciardo, Bottas and Zhou and are all in danger of not being on the grid next year as well.

My final prediction for 2025 would be as follows;

  • Red Bull: Verstappen & Perez

  • Mercedes: Russell & Antonelli

  • Ferrari: Leclerc & Hamilton

  • McLaren: Norris & Piastri

  • Aston Martin: Alonso & Stroll

  • Williams: Albon & Sainz

  • Audi: Hulkenberg & Zhou

  • Alpine: Gasly & Doohan

  • RB: Tsunoda & Ricciardo

  • Haas: Ocon & Bearman

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