Just 7 F1 Seats Still Unsettled as Gasly Agrees to New Alpine Deal, Stroll Stays at Aston Martin

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Just 7 F1 Seats Open After Gasly, Stroll Cut DealsVince Mignott/MB Media - Getty Images
  • The majority of the Formula 1 free agents—and teams with vacancies—are awaiting the decision of Carlos Sainz.

  • Sainz is of interest to Alpine, Sauber and Williams, and remains the cork in the bottle as he takes his time to assess the landscape.

  • Several F1 veterans, including Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, are not guaranteed F1 seats next season.

Pierre Gasly has signed a fresh multi-year deal to remain with Alpine in Formula 1, while Aston Martin has retained Lance Stroll into 2025 and beyond.

Both deals were announced on Thursday, at the Red Bull Ring, ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.


Gasly, 28, joined Alpine in 2023 and scored a podium finish in the Netherlands.

He previously claimed victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix with AlphaTauri.

Alpine has endured a troubled opening to 2024, and holds only seventh in the standings, though recent gains have enabled Gasly to score points across the last three rounds.

“While on-track it’s been a challenging season so far, I remain faithful to the project and I am not going anywhere,” Gasly said. “I am happy with the changes made, the hard work, and the direction the team is taking. There is a lot of potential in this team’s personnel and resources.”

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Lance Stroll will continue to driver for his team owner father Lawrence Stroll at Aston Martin.Vince Mignott/MB Media - Getty Images

Neither moves are particularly surprising, with Gasly always expected to stick with Alpine, while Stroll’s seat is safe at the team which is owned by his father, Lawrence.

Gasly will nonetheless have a new team-mate in 2025 after it was confirmed earlier this month that Alpine will split from Esteban Ocon at the end of the season.

There are several candidates in the frame to join Gasly, most prominently Carlos Sainz and reserve driver Jack Doohan.

“We will take our time in deciding Pierre’s team-mate and we are excited with the options we have on the table,” Alpine’s Team Principal, Bruno Famin, said.

Stroll’s continuation almost needs no confirmation given his family ties but it nonetheless locks in the Canadian, alongside Fernando Alonso.

“He has played a key role in building this team,” Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s Team Principal, said. “His technical feedback, alongside his committed simulator work, has helped contribute to the continuous development of the car each season.”

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Carlos Sainz Jr., left, is losing his Ferrari ride to Lewis Hamilton next season.Clive Rose - Formula 1 - Getty Images

The remaining unconfirmed seats on the 2025 grid are now at Mercedes (one), Alpine (one), Williams (one), Haas (two), Sauber (one) and RB (one).

Mercedes is preparing its 17-year-old protégé Kimi Antonelli, racing in Formula 2, for a 2025 debut, with the Italian undertaking an extensive private testing plan in old machinery.

The majority of the free agents—and teams with vacancies—are awaiting the decision of Carlos Sainz. He is of interest to Alpine, Sauber and Williams, and remains the cork in the bottle as he takes his time to assess the landscape.

“No it’s obviously not the right time, and probably a triple header isn’t the right time to go back home and take the decision with my team and put all the options on the table and think carefully what is best for me, for my future, for my career,” Sainz said.

“The situation that I've been in this year has made me learn a lot about Formula 1, in general, by talking to teams, it has kind of showed me how tough this sport is, how little sometimes you have to believe what people say at the beginning of negotiations, conversations, and mainly also to trust very little people in the paddock, because it's really a very political sport.

"There's a lot of things like this involved, and it's made me understand that, yeah, it's a very tough sport in that sense, and understand the better picture of Formula 1, without going too much into detail. For other teams, obviously, I've learned a lot in which position they are in and the teams that I'm potentially moving to next year, I've obviously dug in a lot into the state that they are and the situation that there is. It's also [given] me probably a better understanding of Formula 1 and where each team is.”

Rumors have linked Alpine outcast Esteban Ocon and Ferrari-backed Ollie Bearman to Haas, which would mean an exit for Kevin Magnussen, who was sanguine about the situation.

“I feel like there’s a lot of potential in this team,” Magnussen said. “The highs have been very high, there’s never been a podium here though, and there’s never been that season where it’s just all worked out and consistency has been good. I would think that’s quite fulfilling after so many years here to be part of that.

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Haas has yet to commit to Kevin Magnussen for 2025.Peter Fox - Getty Images

"But on the other hand it’s also been a long journey, I’ve been in the midfield pretty much every year I’ve been in Formula 1, and I’m 31, I think I’m starting to also think that if I finished my motorsport career having just done F1 in the midfield, that kind of feels maybe empty in some ways. I watch some of those races, Le Mans, Indy 500, and I see the guys that win those, they look bloody happy, you know?”

Dad-of-two Magnussen was also reflective about the intense Formula 1 schedule.

“When I think about my future it’s not like if I’m not in F1 I feel like it’s going to be a bad life at all,” he said. “I feel a little bit the opposite, there’s a big cost to being in Formula 1 and sometimes I question whether it’s worth it because it’s 24 races, being a family man, it’s a high cost.”

On his own future, Ocon said: “We are into deep conversations at the moment, discussions are going well, at the moment I’m confident with the future and hopefully it will be sorted soon and announced.”

Haas Team principal Ayao Komatsu was questioned about the timeline of a 2025 decision and laughed “[We will decide] when we are ready.”

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Veteran Valtteri Bottas is no guarantee to be on the Formula 1 grid in 2025.Clive Rose - Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas is not expected to remain with Sauber, and has held talks with his former team, Williams, which has pinpointed Sainz as its favored candidate to replace struggling Logan Sargeant.

“I was hoping there would be decisions made earlier this week, but deadlines got pushed back again,” Bottas said. “I've got my priority and my order, which I can't tell you, but yeah for me it's pretty clear what I want. Somebody else first has to decide where he's going and that's going to decide that puzzle, basically, how it's going to fall.”

Bottas’ current Sauber teammate, Zhou Guanyu, is an outsider in the driver market, but Sauber’s inability to attract bigger names may assist his cause.

“I want to stay here, very clear, but of course we are talking with different options,” Zhou said. “We are all waiting for Carlos to decide at the end of the day – hopefully he makes his decision sooner.”

RB’s Daniel Ricciardo is striving to keep his seat, with Yuki Tsunoda already retained. Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko suggested to Austrian media this week that Liam Lawson is poised to be promoted, but this is likely political manoeuvring given Ricciardo is favored by Christian Horner. Ricciardo does not have options outside of RB.

“There hasn't been any pressure, ultimatum, nothing like that,” Ricciardo said. “But I’m also, I’ve been in the sport a long time, I know that if I get my ass kicked every weekend, at some point, someone will be like ‘hey mate, step it up, otherwise…’ but I haven’t had that.

“I sound casual, I don’t want to be casual about it, because obviously I care a lot. Maybe I’m at a point where it’s just like, what will be will be. I’m just going to put everything I can on the table from an effort and performance, and if that is good enough to secure me a seat, great. If not, then OK, I did everything I could.”

Updated Formula 1 2025 Grid

Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez

Mercedes: George Russell, TBD

Ferrari: Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton

McLaren: Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri

Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll

Alpine: Pierre Gasly, TBC

Williams: Alex Albon, TBC

RB: Yuki Tsunoda, TBC

Sauber: Nico Hulkenberg, TBC

Haas: TBC, TBC