Formula 1: Red Bull could deliver more bad news to Mercedes

After being rumored to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Alex Albon has emerged as a strong possibility to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull for the 2025 Formula 1 season.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 / Lars Baron/GettyImages

When the news broke that seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is set to leave Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season and join Ferrari, bringing an end to the most successful partnership in the history of the sport after 12 seasons, the focus began to shift to what is next for the Silver Arrows.

One of the main candidates to take over from Hamilton alongside George Russell was said to be Williams driver Alex Albon, whom many believed Ferrari had been targeting for 2025 as Carlos Sainz Jr.'s replacement before signing Hamilton.

But just one day after the Hamilton-to-Ferrari bombshell, it was reported by Peter Windsor that Red Bull are likely to have already offered Albon a three-year contract to partner three-time world champion Max Verstappen beginning in 2025.

Mercedes out on Alex Albon as well?

After losing out on Hamilton, losing out on the possibility of signing Albon as his replacement the same week would be a major blow to a Mercedes team which already had many questions to answer about their performance following a rough two-year stretch.

Of course, Albon being off the table for Mercedes still leaves them with several possibilities, including Sainz.

But after Toto Wolff publicly stated that the recent contract extensions for Charles Leclerc at Ferrari and Lando Norris at McLaren had bitten Mercedes, thus leaving with fewer top-tier options to replace their departing 103-time Grand Prix winner, losing out on Albon would surely be another blow, especially given that Red Bull is his rumored destination.

Let's also not forget the fact that Sainz has long been linked to Sauber ahead of the Audi takeover in 2026, so he is no sure thing for Mercedes either.

Albon competed for Red Bull alongside Verstappen during the second half of his rookie season in 2019 after being called up from sister team Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly, but he was replaced by Sergio Perez at the end of the 2020 season.

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After spending a year out of the sport in 2021, Albon appears to have reinvented himself at Williams, positioning himself for a second move up to a top team. Perez has long been viewed as being on the hot seat after struggling to conclude the 2023 season, ultimately finishing with less than half of Verstappen's point total following a strong start to the year.