Formula 1: 3 driver changes we can't see happening after 2024

The 2025 Formula 1 driver lineup is slated to see some changes following a 2024 lineup that saw precisely none. But just how many possibilities are realistic?
Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Formula 1
Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Formula 1 / Peter Fox/GettyImages
1 of 3

Never before in Formula 1's history had the driver lineup from a season finale looked exactly the same when the next season's opener rolled around. But that was the case from the end of 2023 in Abu Dhabi to the start of 2024 in Bahrain.

But even before the 2024 season began, arguably the biggest driver transfer in Formula 1 history was announced for 2025, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton agreeing to join Ferrari, bringing an end to his 12-year relationship with Mercedes after the upcoming season.

With Hamilton's move naturally displacing Carlos Sainz Jr., silly season was quickly turned upside down, indicating that next year's grid could be quite a far cry from this year's. As a result, Formula 1 presenter and paddock insider Lawrence Barretto put out a prediction for the lineups of all 10 teams next year.

Nobody knows exactly what the future holds, and the odds of somebody accurately predicting the entire lineup are slim. But here are three moves we just can't see happening.

1. Daniel Ricciardo to Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo competed for Red Bull from 2014 to 2018 before opting to leave for Renault, but he has made clear his intention to return to Red Bull ever since he signed as their third driver last year.

He re-joined the organization following a rough stint at McLaren which ended with the Woking-based team buying out his contract a year early, and he got the chance to return to Formula 1 last year when he replaced Nyck de Vries at Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri (presently RB).

But Ricciardo's start to the 2024 season with RB has been nothing shy of a disaster, and he has not given anybody any reason to believe that he is deserving of a seat with the sport's top team.

While we agree with Barretto's pick of Liam Lawson to replace him at RB, it's hard to see Ricciardo getting a better seat out of the deal, especially as Sergio Perez continues to perform well alongside Max Verstappen.