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
3 of 3

3. Nico Hulkenberg to Sauber

Of the three moves listed here, this one is admittedly the most realistic.

Ever since Audi announced their decision to enter Formula 1, there has been speculation surrounding who they will select to be their two drivers in 2026. But as mentioned on the previous slide, that decision realistically needs be made for 2025.

Nico Hulkenberg has recently been linked to a move from Haas to Sauber after the 2024 season. The 36-year-old German driver's experience and consistency are said to be two assets that the German team will value to a great extent, making him an ideal fit.

But Carlos Sainz Jr. reportedly remains their main target, and RB's Yuki Tsunoda, who could opt to leave the Red Bull organization if he is not promoted to the A-team as Max Verstappen's teammate, is also said to be on their shortlist after an impressive start to the 2024 season.

While Audi may value experience, is starting their program in 2026 with a 38-year-old, one who has already experienced a three-year hiatus from Formula 1, really their best option? At that point, wouldn't it be better just to stick with Valtteri Bottas, the 10-time Grand Prix winner and former world championship runner-up who has been with the organization for three years now?

That said, if Hulkenberg is made an official offer, he would be wise to accept a move to what could end up being his best team -- and thus his best spot to finally secure a podium finish -- yet. Why not swing for the fences?

On a side note, Haas and Ferrari reserve driver Oliver Bearman does appear to be well on his way to a Formula 1 seat next year, with Haas viewed as his most likely destination. Given that Hulkenberg has consistently outperformed teammate Kevin Magnussen since returning to Formula 1 last season, it would make more sense for Magnussen to be the odd man out.

Next. Formula 1: Max Verstappen not 'washed up', ends 133-day drought. Formula 1: Max Verstappen not 'washed up', ends 133-day drought. dark

Haas' relatively strong start to the 2024 season following a run of two last place finishes in three years could also give Hulkenberg a reason to stay, provided more progress is made throughout the year.