Formula 1 Roundup: Williams, Mercedes Teams Have Sights Set on 2025 Driver Options

f1 grand prix of canada
F1 Roundup: 2025 Williams, Mercedes Driver UpdateJayce Illman - Getty Images

Williams F1 team principal James Vowles has publicly declared current Ferrari racer Carlos Sainz as the main target for the Williams team for the 2025 season.

Sainz, who will leave Ferrari at the end of the year and be replaced by Lewis Hamilton, has been pursued by the Audi-controlled Sauber team and is understood to have an offer on the table to be the pillar of its project. But Williams is also interested in securing the services of the 29-year-old Spaniard as Vowles plots the next stage of the team’s development.

“I think Carlos is an exceptional driver,” said Vowles. “He's a race-winning driver. And I think any team would be privileged to have him as a part of their organization.”


Williams is also keeping tabs on Valtteri Bottas, with Vowles having worked closely with the Finn when they were at Mercedes together, amid the 10-time winner’s expected exit from Sauber at the end of the year.

Barring a complete turnaround in the next few faces, it would appear that American Logan Sargeant’s prospects of staying on at Williams are slim at best.

More news and notes from this past weekend's F1 Canadian Grand Prix.

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Sergio Perez must serve a three-place grid penalty next time out in Spain on June 23.Qian Jun/MB Media - Getty Images

Perez’s Upcoming Barcelona Race Already Compromised

Sergio Perez endured a dismal time in Canada as he spun into the barriers while not even running in a points-paying position and was forced to retire due to accident damage for the second successive event.

But Perez, with his rear wing damaged, was able to complete half a lap with his RB20 before pulling into the pits to park the car. Stewards took a dim view of Perez continuing with a ‘significantly damaged car’ and he shed several pieces of carbon fiber on his way back to the pit lane.

Perez’s Red Bull team confirmed that they had advised their to bring the car to the pits, as they were trying to avoid a safety car period, though ironically for the squad one came moments later when Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon tangled.

Red Bull was fined approximately $32,000 (€25,000)—small change really—but more painful the sporting sanction of a three-place grid penalty imposed upon Perez. That must be served at the next race, at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, meaning Perez’s prospects of getting his season back on track are already compromised.

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Jack Doohan has seen his stock rise among Formula 1 hopefuls.NurPhoto - Getty Images

Doohan’s FP1 Run Raises Stakes

Alpine handed Jack Doohan his first practice outing of the F1 season in Canada, in the wake of the news of Esteban Ocon’s exit at the end of the campaign.

Reserve driver Doohan, third in Formula 2 last season, does not have a race program this year as he focuses on his test and reserve duties with Alpine. The Australian, son of motorcycle legend Mick, is a contender for a 2025 race seat.

Elsewhere, Alpine junior drivers Victor Martins and Kush Maini—who both race in Formula 2—tested Alpine’s 2022 car in Austria last week.

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Kimi Antonelli (4) is looking more and more like the odds-on favorite to land a seat at Mercedes next season.Joe Portlock - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Kimi Antonelli Tests Continue With Mercedes

Mercedes protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli has continued to accumulate mileage in Formula 1 machinery.

Antonelli, who turns 18 in August, has emerged as the favorite for the Mercedes seat that will be vacated by Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton in 2025, with boss Toto Wolff having pinpointed the young Italian as the future of the team.

Having tested Mercedes’ 2021 car at the Red Bull Ring in April, before switching to its 2022-spec W13 at Imola, Antonelli again drove the W13 at Silverstone, and then at Barcelona, across successive weeks between the Monaco and Canadian grands prix.

Antonelli already qualifies for a Super License—once he turns 18—based on his junior results, but he nevertheless faces a crucial few weeks in Formula 2, with five rounds across the next six weekends, including three on the bounce in Spain, Austria and Britain.

Antonelli’s Prema team has been encouraged by the young driver's rate of learning so far, though he is just sixth in the F2 standings—in a championship with no runaway leader—and has yet to score a podium finish.

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The F1 Canadian Grand Prix reported a nice up-tick in attendance this past weekend.NurPhoto - Getty Images

F1 Attendance Continues to Grow

Formula 1 reported a three-day attendance figure of 350,000 for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, a rise of 5,000 year-on-year. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is Formula 1’s most-visited non-European venue, having joined the schedule in 1978 and missed only four seasons since, and has a contract through 2031.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for event organizers were summoned by the stewards after the post-race track invasion by fans began too early, when cars were still on track, replicating an issue encountered by promoters in Australia in 2023. The stewards have demanded that a full remediation plan be delivered to the FIA by the end of September.

Elsewhere RB’s Yuki Tsunoda was also summoned by stewards for his late attendance to the pre-race national anthem. The team was fined.

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A widening of the paddock in Hungary began after last years F1 Hungarian Grand Prix.Dan Istitene - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Hungaroring Facelift Progressing

The Hungaroring has completed the first phase of its redevelopment ahead of next month’s F1 Hungarian Grand Prix.

The facility opened in 1986 but has had only minor revisions throughout its history, and the venue is one of the most antiquated on the schedule. It last year signed a contract to continue hosting Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix through at least 2032.

The redevelopment project is due to last until 2026 but the first segment has been completed, which includes a widening of the paddock, the construction of two tunnels, and a sizeable revamp to the main fan zone behind the main grandstand. The circuit layout will not be altered but as part of the works—following on from the construction of tunnels—the main straight has been resurfaced.

“I have been saying for years that in the new era the needs have changed, the business world around F1 has changed, and nowadays Formula 1 races are considered a four-day festival, and the circuits have to adapt to meet these needs,” Zsoly Gyulay, president and CEO of the Hungaroring, said.