Sainz, Ocon, Antonelli, Pérez… update on the 2025 transfer window at mid-season

As we pass mid-season and a few days before the summer break, we take stock of the F1 2025 transfer market which is just waiting to be resolved... but which remains blocked by one man, Carlos Sainz.

Published on 16/07/2024 à 16:45

Dorian Grangier

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Sainz, Ocon, Antonelli, Pérez… update on the 2025 transfer window at mid-season

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Carlos Sainz: the sticking point

He is the key man in this transfer market: Carlos Sainz has not yet made its choice for 2025 and frustrates more than one. Will he go to Mercedes ? In Alpine, or Williams ? The Spaniard, who had nevertheless declared that he wanted to make a decision " quickly " in mid-June, procrastinates again and evaluates all its options.

It must be said that each team has its arguments. Mercedes has the status of a factory team with a 2026 engine that is a priori promising according to rumors from the paddock. Williams is in the process of rebuilding with a long-term project (and with a Mercedes engine). Alpine could also convince Carlos Sainz by also promising him… a Mercedes engine! In short, the Madrilenian is spoiled for choice!

ALSO READ > Alpine, Mercedes, Williams… Sainz in the middle of a fool’s game!

Esteban Ocon: his choice is made

To Esteban Ocon on the other hand, the situation is much clearer. The Frenchman assured Silverstone that his future was not linked to the decision Carlos Sainz would make, effectively eliminating the Williams option. The only possible way out was therefore Haas, who has set his sights on the Norman for a while: the pilot Alpine was already coveted before the Monaco Grand Prix and the announcement of his departure from the French team.

Haas, who announced at Silverstone the recruitment of Oliver Bearman, replacing Nico Hulkenberg selected by Audi-Sauber, had the possibility of retaining Kevin Magnussen or to make a clean sweep of the past. It is this second option which was favored with Esteban Ocon.

ALSO READ > Esteban Ocon at Haas, formalization is imminent

Andrea Kimi Antonelli: Mercedes backs down

Since the announcement of the departure of Lewis Hamilton in Ferrari, he is the main favorite to recover the second Mercedes seat: the talented Andrea Kimi Antonelli has been tipped for months to support George Russell in 2025, despite his very young age and his lack of experience in the promotion formula.

Defended by Toto wolff and by Mercedes, which is increasing private tests with old F1 to train him, the young Italian has lost a little ground in recent weeks. Its mixed performance in Formula 2 would have cooled the management of the German team, who began looking for an alternative solution. At Silverstone, the executive director of Mercedes-AMG F1 Team leaked the information that the door would ultimately not be completely closed for… Carlos Sainz, him again.

A way to release some pressure for Andrea Kimi Antonelli? In any case, in Great Britain, the Italian won the Sprint race with great authority in extremely difficult track conditions...

Sergio Pérez: a useless extension?

When Red Bull announced the extension of Sergio Pérez until 2026, on the sidelines of the Canadian Grand Prix last June, no one thought that the question of the second Austrian seat would come back to the forefront… a month later. The Mexican has a string of poor performances (15 points scored in the last six Grands Prix) and leaves Red Bull one to two against the rival teams.

According to our information, Sergio Pérez has been notified of three Grands Prix to recover (starting at Silverstone) and if things have not improved on the evening of the Belgian Grand Prix, he could lose his precious 2025/26 contract! And there are many contenders!

Internally first, with Yuki tsunoda – yet extended by Racing Bulls a month ago – Daniel Ricciardo and even… Liam Lawson! The New Zealander could go straight to the Red Bull box, having been tested by the Austrian team after the British Grand Prix as part of a filming day. Unless Red Bull decides to recruit a certain Carlos Sainz, always him!

Daniel Ricciardo: Red Bull… or the door

For Daniel Ricciardo, it's all or nothing! The Australian, who made his return to Formula 1 this season, is offered two completely opposite outcomes: if his performances improve significantly, he could claim the second seat at Red Bull. Conversely, if his results lag behind Yuki Tsunoda, he could well be replaced by Liam Lawson. In any case, this is what Helmut Marko announced at the end of June.

“The shareholders (of Red Bull) have made it clear that this is a young team and that we must act accordingly, Marko had confided to the Austrian daily Kleine Zeitung. The aim was for Ricciardo to be considered for a return to Red Bull thanks to outstanding performances. This place now belongs to Sergio Perez, so this plan is no longer relevant. We will soon have to call on a young pilot. Then it would be Liam Lawson. »

ALSO READ > Liam Lawson more than ever on pole to replace Daniel Ricciardo?

Valtteri Bottas: returning home?

In the middle of this totally crazy 2025 transfer window, we almost forgot Valtteri Bottas ! The Finn now has two options: the first is to stay with Sauber-Audi if none of the big names surveyed (Sainz, Ocon, etc.) does not respond to the call from the Swiss team. The second, much more likely, would be to join the Williams team which he already frequented between 2013 and 2016. In the event of a last minute problem, the ex-Mercedes driver could bounce back in Indycar where several teams have expressed their interest to him, but F1 remains his priority.

And the others ?

  • Kevin Magnussen should take the door at Haas: he would pay the price for the arrival of Esteban Ocon within the American team in 2025. The Dane says he has been exploring options outside of F1 for 2025 for some time now, particularly in the United States.
  • The future of Guanyu-Zhou is also very vague: announced for a while at Alpine, the arrival of Flavio Briatore at enstone closed the door on him. If he does not stay at Sauber-Audi, the Chinese could leave Formula 1. The boss of the Formula E, Jeff Dodds, would like to welcome him to the electric championship.
  • The days are numbered for Logan sargeant in Formula 1. The American could head towards IndyCar for the rest of his career, while Williams is even considering replacing him before the end of the 2024 season. A return with the PREMA team, which will debut in IndyCar in 2025, seems like the most obvious solution.
  • If Carlos Sainz decides not to join Alpine in 2025, Jack Doohan and Mick Schumacher are the favorites to accompany Pierre Gasly next year. The two drivers carried out a comparative test at Paul-Ricard at the beginning of July, with relatively close times. The Australian, reserve driver for the French team, would hold the rope.

Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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1 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

09/07/2024 at 06:18 a.m.

A prediction: AKA at Mercedes after a second part of the 2024 season at Williams in place of Sargeant, Bottas at Williams, Sainz at Audi, TexMex at Red Bull, Lawson at Ridiculous Bulls and Doohan at Alpine

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