F1 Decisions Draw Closer as Drivers Clamber for 2025 Rides

formula 1 media day of monaco gp
Several F1 Drivers Still Jockeying for 2025 RidesNurPhoto - Getty Images
  • Formula 1’s Silly Season started early, with Lewis Hamilton’s announcement of his move to Ferrari in 2025.

  • With Carlos Sainz on the way out at Ferrari, the Spaniard is biding his time amid prospective vacancies at Red Bull Racing and Mercedes.

  • Logan Sargeant is one of several drivers down the grid just hoping to keep a job in F1 next year.

Formula 1 will this weekend return to the streets of Monaco for one of motorsport’s blue ribbon events.

It marks only the one-third mark of a record-breaking grueling 24-round season but attention continues to be placed on the state of the 2025 grid.

Formula 1’s Silly Season started early, with Lewis Hamilton’s announcement of his move to Ferrari in 2025 firing the starting gun.


McLaren has locked down Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri long term, Max Verstappen holds a Red Bull contract through 2028—though how watertight it is remains up for debate—while Mercedes has George Russell under contract for 2025.

Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso re-committed through at least 2026, and Lance Stroll is safe at a team owned by his father, while Nico Hulkenberg signed a multi-year deal to take him from Haas to the Sauber/Audi project.

Questions Yet to Be Answered

Audi has pinpointed outgoing Ferrari racer Carlos Sainz as its primary candidate but the Spaniard is biding his time amid prospective vacancies at Red Bull Racing and Mercedes.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez made a strong start to 2024, but his form has stuttered across the last couple of rounds, while Mercedes is not rushing to make a decision as it tracks the development of protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet and I don’t know where I’m going to be racing next year,” Sainz said, who insists he has set himself no deadline. “I can just tell you such an important decision in this stage of my career that I want to have all the options on the table and think about it carefully because I’m about to turn 30 this year and the next project is a project I want to make work and see how it works so I’m going to give myself as much time as I need.”

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Valtteri Bottas could be coming to the end of the line in his Formula 1 career.Ciancaphoto Studio - Getty Images

The Spaniard also dismissed suggestions that waiting could cost him in the driver market.

“Behind the scenes I know more than you guys, you have the rumours and everything, but don’t worry, I’m not going to let slip anything, I’m just going to put all the options on the table and take the right decision,” he said.

Valtteri Bottas, who has been with Sauber since 2022, is also a free agent after 2024 and unlikely to be kept on as the team evolves towards its Audi guise in 2026.

He was seen entering the Williams motorhome at Imola last week, where he raced from 2013 to 2016, to catch up with boss James Vowles, with whom he worked during their respective Mercedes careers.

“I would like to be sorted soon, which is kind of the same thing for the teams I guess, because things are really moving, so hopefully within the next weeks,” Bottas said.

“I would say we’re not just talking to one team, let’s put it that way. So there are other teams we’re talking to. But I have my clear priority for the future, which I’m not going to tell you. But yeah, I have one.”

Bottas was also effusive about the recent changes at Williams under Vowles.

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Zhou Guanyu faces an uncertain future after an uneven run with Sauber.Qian Jun/MB Media - Getty Images

“I think they’re in the right direction,” he said. “He certainly knows what a team needs to be on the top. So yeah, when I saw that he became Williams team principal, I always knew that’s good news for the team because I know the guy, what he can do. And yeah, so far I think he’s been doing a good job.”

Bottas’ current teammate Zhou Guanyu is also striving to secure his place on the 2025 grid, though options for him are dwindling.

“Here remains still one of the options, but also I’m looking at what’s the best for my future,” Zhou said. “It’s very important already to start quite early, just because of the driver market. I’m still very, very calm on the situation. I don’t feel like I’m pretty much under pressure, or I don’t feel like this will be my last year.”

f1 grand prix of monaco practice
American Logan Sargeant is running out of chances to impress Williams enough enough to earn an extension from Williams.Jayce Illman - Getty Images

Williams actively looking externally is bad news for incumbent Logan Sargeant, who has had a tricky time since stepping up to Formula 1 in 2023.

Vowles has recently upped the ante on Sargeant in public, emphasizing the need to get closer to Alex Albon, who last week signed a long-term extension.

“At the end of the day, I’m focused on my job,” Sargeant said. “I spend what time I need to do with the engineers. I look at my driving. I look at the data across cars. In the end of the day, I’m here to drive. I’m here to do my job as best I can. And that’s what I do.”

On whether he had been given assurances Sargeant shot back: “I have a contract and I’m here to drive. Of course I want to stay [in 2025]. I believe I can get to the level I need to be at, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Haas has yet to determine its line-up but, like Williams, is a more attractive proposition than it was after an encouraging start to 2024.

Haas is evaluating Ferrari protégé Oliver Bearman and while veteran Kevin Magnussen represents continuity there is no guarantee he will stay.

“I want to be here next year,” Magnussen said. “It only takes a couple of bad races and your value goes sideways. You’re only as good as your last race. It’s very important in this time to perform.”

RB is expected to be a case of three-into-two, with the impressive Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson – who caught the eye during his stand-in appearances in 2023 – vying for the seats.

“We’re the strongest team in the midfield, we will see,” Tsunoda said. “I’ll always aim for Red Bull. But If they don’t want me, or they are not expecting me in their seat, if I get an interesting offer that is better than VCARB [RB] or Red Bull, then I’ll think about it. But I’m loyal to Red Bull, and Honda as well, and speaking of Honda maybe Aston [would be an option], but they’ve taken two drivers.”