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Where the fate of Formula 1 drivers lie

By Erin Arends

Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after news of his transfer has

dropped via Getty Images.


Silly Season is the most anticipated time of the Formula 1 season as it is loved by a huge

number of its fans. The term is used amongst F1 fans when referring to the driver market.

Throughout the year, fans eagerly wait to hear the news on whether their favourite drivers

will be resigning with their current teams or making the decision to move to another team.

For many drivers, Silly Season can be quite stressful as this is the time when they are

scurrying to sign a contract which gains them a spot on the Formula 1 grid for the upcoming

year.


The 2023-24 Silly Season was one of the quietest periods ever as there were no changes

made to the grid. However, the 2024-25 Silly Season started off strong with Lewis Hamilton

announcing that he will be leaving his long-time seat at Mercedes to join Ferrari for the

2025 season. The seven-time F1 World Champion has been with Mercedes for 11 years and

was a major contributor to Mercedes’ dominance from 2014 to 2021. In addition to this

news, Ferrari became one of two teams with a complete driver lineup for 2025 after having

Charles Leclerc sign a long-term contract with the prancing horses.


Over at Mclaren, team principal, Andreas Stella, has full faith in his current team having

both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri signing multi-year contracts which keep them in the

team for several seasons to come. The Norris-Piastri duo might be Mclaren’s strongest

lineup in a while with Norris giving the team their first win since Monza 2021 at the 2024

Miami Grand Prix. Oscar Piastri has also shown great potential with the rookie hauling in a

great number of points as well as picking up a few podiums along the way.


Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri scoring a double podium at the 2023 Japan Grand

Prix via Getty Images.


Red Bull Racing’s dominance has been one that cannot be overlooked with Max Verstappen

earning three F1 World Championships with the team. As his teammate, Sergio Perez’s two-

year contract comes to an end at the end of the season the question of everyone’s mind is

whether he will resign or will Red Bull start looking for other options. Perez’s performance in

the 2023 season was not up to Red Bull’s standards and if it is replicated this year, it would

make it difficult for Red Bull to retain the Mexican. As it stands, it remains a mystery as to

who will secure the second Red Bull seat as there are multiple contenders. F1 fans around

the world will be keeping a close eye on who will obtain the spot alongside the reigning

world champion.


After opening up a spot on the grid next to George Russell, many will be wondering who will

take up the very difficult task of replacing Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes have the option of

either going for experience or throwing all their cards on the table by allowing a rookie

driver to make their F1 debut. Despite being in his early 40s, two-time F1 World Champion,

Fernando Alonso has been the star at Aston Martin for the last two years and with his 20-

plus years of experience in the sport he is sure to help revive Mercedes back to their glory

days. In the case of a long-term deal, Mercedes has potential in 17-year-old Andrea Kimi

Antonelli who has made his Formula 2 debut this year. The safest bet, it seems to be, could

lie in the hands of Carlos Sainz who, due to Hamilton’s departure, is a free agent.


In August 2022, Audi announced that they would be rejoining the F1 grid in 2026 and would

completely be taking over Kick Sauber, previously known as Alfa Romeo, on the grid. Kick

Sauber has put their trust in the three-year partnership of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu

who have shown to make no difference in terms of results. In the past few weeks, it was

announced that Nico Hulkenberg, currently driving for Haas F1 team, would be joining Kick

Sauber in 2025 which marks the start of Audi’s rebuild. The combination of race-winning

experience in Bottas and a newfound potential in Zhou would leave Kick Sauber with the

choice of who will race alongside Hulkenberg next season.



Nico Hulkenberg caught before qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix via Getty

Images.


The 2024 Silly Season has just begun and yet it has been the silliest it has been in years.

Everyone in the F1 world will be eagerly awaiting the news on what is to follow in the

months to come.

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1 Comment


tumelolekay
May 17

what a fabulous article!🤭

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