Formula 1 driver lineup overhaul expected for the 2025 season

With a number of drivers out of contract after the 2024 season, we are bound to see some surprising moves in the Formula 1 free agency market.
Formula 1
Formula 1 / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

While we are only two races into the 2024 Formula 1 season, many are already starting to think ahead to the 2025 season and what the future holds for a number of drivers on the grid.

The 2024 season saw a first-time scenario unfold, with all 20 drivers who completed the 2023 season returning with the same teams for the new season. However, the same can already not be said for the 2025 season.

We have already seen one blockbuster driver move announced for next season, as it was confirmed on February 1 that Lewis Hamilton will be joining Ferrari next season on a multi-year contract to partner Charles Leclerc. The signing of Hamilton at Ferrari has shaken up the grid as well as the potential battle for the constructor championship next season.

But outside of the Ferrari partnership of Hamilton and Leclerc in 2025, only a handful of other drivers have their seats confirmed for next season, leaving many to speculate how each team will line up when the first race of the year rolls around.

A major shakeup in driver partnerships always makes for an interesting season. Let's take a look at a few of the potential driver moves and how they could play out on the track.

Formula 1: Which driver goes where? How the driver lineup could look in 2025

Only Ferrari and McLaren have confirmed their driver lineups for next year, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri under contract at the later. Other drivers such as Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' George Russell are already under contract with their teams for next season as well, but who joins them at two of the sport's top teams remains unknown.

Verstappen is the undisputed number one at Red Bull, so the team are unlikely to bring in another driver who would potentially cause friction, potentially opening up the door for a Sergio Perez return. He fits the profile of an established veteran who can get the job done on track, but could there be better options available?

As for who will partner Russell at Mercedes, that is a very interesting topic, and it became an interesting topic the moment Hamilton to Ferrari was confirmed. The team could either look for a new youthful driver such as Andrea Kimi Antonelli or a more experienced veteran driver such as Carlos Sainz Jr. or Fernando Alonso to replace the seven-time world champion, which won't be an easy task.

Among Aston Martin, Alpine, Williams, RB, Sauber, and Haas, Williams are the only team with a driver under contract through next year, that being Alex Albon. That leaves 11 of 12 seats open beyond the top four teams.

One driver may already have his seat for next year, as Helmut Marko has said in the past that Liam Lawson will be in for a seat at RB, indicating that somebody in this year's lineup won't be back next year. Will he replace Daniel Ricciardo or Yuki Tsunoda?

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All things considered, next year's lineup will likely be a far cry from this year's, which was largely inevitable after the first ever offseason in which no changes were made to anybody's roster.