What The F1 Grid Could Look Like In 2025

This is what the F1 grid could look like in 2025

13 F1 drivers will be off contract at the conclusion of the 2024 season, with some team switches already announced. With unprecedented turnover looming, we gaze into our crystal ball to hazard an educated guess at what the grid might look like this time next year.

IF YOU TUNED INTO the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend and thought wow, every team is exactly the same as last year, you’re not alone. You’re also correct, the 2024 F1 driver lineup is entirely unchanged from how it looked at the end of last season, and Daniel Ricciardo’s is the only new face—though he can hardly be called that—to appear since the start of 2023, as he replaced Nyck de Vries halfway through last year. This is unusual for F1, a sport built on frequent shake-ups and unpredictability. Not to worry, the lull will soon be shattered to pieces.

Of the 20 drivers on the 2023 grid, 13 are on expiring contracts, and another is on a ‘rolling contract’ with an indeterminate future. In fact, only Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, and Alex Albon have deals in place with their current teams that will keep them there beyond 2024. Sure, some drivers will sign new extensions throughout the year and stay with their teams, but plenty won’t, leading to an entirely new-look lineup in 2025.

Max Verstappen is dominating the current line-up. Under its current parameters, it looks unlikely that anyone will challenge him any time soon. So, we’re imagining a future where F1 will be more competitive. These are our predictions for the 2025 F1 grid.


Red Bull


Current lineup: Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez

Predicted 2025 lineup: Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo

Starting off with our boldest prediction, we’re slating Daniel Ricciardo for a return to Red Bull at Sergio Perez’s expense. Red Bull’s biggest challenger in the driver’s championship has proven to be… no one. The Red Bull cars have shown they’re far superior to their competition, so the championship should, theoretically, be contested by their two drivers. And while Verstappen and Perez finished one and two last season, Checo was nowhere near his Dutch counterpart’s points total. Complacency breeds failure, and while Red Bull appears to be far ahead of their competitors at the moment, the best way to ensure they stay that way is to have a pair of drivers constantly pushing each other to do better. Perez isn’t doing that for Verstappen, and the team have made it clear that they’ll be weighing their options when his contract expires at the end of the year.

As for who will take his seat, the premier options are all spoken for. Red Bull may prefer to look in-house at its sister team, RB. While Red Bull insists that RB is a sister team rather than a junior one, they aren’t fooling anyone. RB is Red Bull’s talent factory, a testing ground on which they can give prospective drivers time behind the wheel without committing to a long-term deal. The battle for Perez’s vacated seat could be fought between RB’s Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, with that rivalry already heating up in this season’s opener. We’re inclined to believe the more experienced Ricciardo will come out on top.



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Current lineup: Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz

Predicted 2025 lineup: Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton

As you’re sure to have heard, Lewis Hamilton will be heading to Ferrari next year. Hamilton’s defection has been covered extensively, and as a result, Ferrari is one of the few teams with a line-up we can confirm with absolute certainty. The only question mark at Ferrari concerns their current number two, Carlos Sainz. Sainz has been a serviceable addition for Ferrari, often outperforming Leclerc. He may have felt he’d earned a contract extension beyond 2024, but now he’s been left out in the cold and will be searching for a new team.




Current lineup: Lewis Hamilton, George Russell

Predicted 2025 lineup: George Russell, Esteban Ocon

Mercedes were utterly blindsided by Hamilton’s defection, as proven by the most recent season of Drive To Survive, which showed that the team was firm in their belief that they’d retain the seven-time world champion. Now, Mercedes is searching for a replacement with limited viable options on the market.

George Russell should become the number one guy, although recent rumours suggest that Max Verstappen could be a likely candidate for the open spot, but that move would be so insane we can’t even fathom it. If they can’t secure the defending champion, Mercedes could opt for a stopgap solution, as the team’s junior driver, 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli, looks like a generational talent but will need a few more years to develop.

Alex Albon is an option, but he’s still under contract at Williams until the end of next year. Instead, we’ve gone for Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who will soon be out of contract and is something of a known quantity for Mercedes, having previously served as their reserve driver in 2019. Ocon has had a less than stellar stint with Alpine, and he won’t be the flashiest signing, but Mercedes’ options really are limited as the team’s stock is rapidly falling.




Current lineup: Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri

Predicted 2025 lineup: Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri

One of the few teams that can expect no turnover next year. McLaren has its duo of young phenoms contractually locked in for the foreseeable future, courtesy of a pair of extensions signed last season. McLaren wants to contend for championships, while their cars aren’t there yet, their drivers look like they soon could be.



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Aston Martin


Current lineup: Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll

Predicted 2025 lineup: Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll

It’s difficult to discern what the future holds for Aston Martin. Depending how you look at it, they could be the most volatile or stable team on the grid. Firstly, Fernando Alonso has been a revelation for the team, routinely challenging for podiums and at times looking like the best driver on the track besides Verstappen. Alonso’s contract ends this year, and he’s certain to garner interest from larger teams, but at the same time, he seems perfectly comfortable riding out his career with Aston Martin. But then again, he’s 42 and can’t have long left in the tank. Aston Martin will need to source a long-term replacement, but for now, we’re forecasting a one to two year contract extension for Alonso.

Meanwhile, Lance Stroll holds the most bizarre contract in F1—the details of which seem to allow Stroll to remain with the team for as long as he pleases. Stroll has struggled mightily these past few seasons as he’s been consistently outperformed by Alonso, who has proved what Aston Martin’s cars are capable of. In any other situation, he’d surely be shown the door, but at Aston Martin, he’s untouchable as the owner’s son. Yes, Lawrence Stroll, the owner of Aston Martin’s F1 team, is Lance Stroll’s dad, meaning the younger Stroll is likely to stay put for the long term, regardless of his mediocre driving.


RB (formerly AlphaTauri)


Current lineup: Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda

Predicted 2025 lineup: Yuki Tsunoda, Liam Lawson

In this scenario, Daniel Ricciardo is returning to Red Bull, opening up a spot at RB. If this were to happen, the fiery Yuki Tsunoda will likely be incensed and may want out altogether. Although, he hasn’t really shown enough to lure in a viable suitor elsewhere. Presumably, he’d realise that staying with RB is his best option.

Liam Lawson is the obvious candidate to take Ricciardo’s place. During his audition while filling in for the injured Ricciardo last season, the New Zealander proved that he had the talent to make it in F1 and felt he’d done enough to score Tsunoda’s seat this year. Nevertheless, he’ll be happy to land a full-time role from 2025 onwards.




Current lineup: Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon

Predicted 2025 lineup: Pierre Gasly, Jack Doohan

Alpine are in deep trouble at the moment. The team genuinely looked like the worst on the track in Bahrain, and after making several leadership changes over the offseason, it’s blatantly apparent that a major rebuild will be required. Under these circumstances, it would be understandable if Ocon and Gasly wanted to leave the team, and both the driver’s contracts will run out at the end of the year, but neither is in a position to move up the F1 ladder based on their recent mediocrity. We’ve got Ocon nabbing a spot at Mercedes purely because of the lack of other options, but Gasly looks even less likely to get an upgrade. We predict Gasly to resign and Australian Jack Doohan to get a promotion from his position as the team’s reserve driver.



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Sauber (formerly Alfa Romeo, soon to be Audi)


Current lineup: Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu

Predicted 2025 lineup: Carlos Sainz, Théo Pourchaire

Sauber are not a particularly desirable destination for any driver at the moment, while their own stables look spent. Valtteri Bottas seems content to sit at the back of the pack for the rest of his career, and Zhou Guanyu’s time in F1 is surely coming to an end soon after failing to impress in his first two seasons, during which he has only amassed a measly 12 total points. Expect a complete makeover, which will soon be achieved, with Audi planning to takeover the team by 2026. That impending change could attract some big names next year, which is why we see Carlos Sainz making Sauber home. The Spaniard has proven his ability and would be the ideal face to lead the team into the future. While Théo Pourchaire, who won the 2023 F2 championship, is waiting in the wings as the team’s current reserve driver.




Current lineup: Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg

Predicted 2025 lineup: Nico Hulkenberg, Oliver Bearman

Haas finished dead last in the 2023 constructor’s championship, with very few performances warranting commendation. Both Haas drivers are out of contract next year, and the team is long overdue for a shakeup. Magnussen has been with the team for seven seasons now, with his results only getting worse. It’s time for Haas to move on from Magnussen, and while Hulkenberg has hardly been any better, his veteran leadership is a desirable quality in a mentor, which is how we see his future shaping up. Next to him on the grid, we have Oliver Bearman, a highly touted young Brit currently serving as Ferrari’s reserve driver. Bearman will only be 19 by the start of the next F1 season, but his talent warrants an early debut. As Ferrari’s sidekick, Haas have already promised Bearman multiple F1 test runs of their cars throughout the 2024 season, and a relationship appears to be building.




Current lineup: Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant

Predicted 2025 lineup: Alex Albon, Sergio Perez

Williams will want to hold onto Alex Albon for as long as possible. The Thai driver remains under contract until the end of 2025 but is sure to receive interest from rival teams beforehand, as he singlehandedly vaulted Williams to seventh in last year’s driver’s championship. While his teammate, Logan Sargeant, managed only a single point in his rookie season. Sargeant will need to show more this year to secure a contract extension, but that might not even matter, for if Sergio Perez were to become available, Williams wouldn’t hesitate to discard the American and pull the trigger on Checo.



Bahrain Grand Prix recap: to the Max

Everything you need to know about the 2024 F1 season

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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