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F1

F1 silly season: Five huge driver moves that could happen

Lewis Hamilton's early announcement of a switch to Ferrari for next season has set the F1 silly season into early action.

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To news overview © XPBimages

The grid has remained static from last term and, with half the grid out of contract at the end of the upcoming season, a lot of movement was expected.

So of the rest of the grid, who is likely to be on the move? RacingNews365 takes a look at five potential switches at the end of the season.

Alex Albon to Red Bull

Alex Albon has been one of the unsung stars of F1 over the past two seasons and, as such, his stock has risen.

The Thai-Briton has helped Williams remove itself from the foot of the table but that has come with interest from elsewhere on the grid.

There are two potential suitors for Albon moving into 2025 but the most likely seems to be former team Red Bull, which has already made contact, according to reports.

Albon was dropped by the Milton Keynes-based outfit to make way for Sergio Perez at the end of 2020 but, with the Mexican's form shaky last term, an opening could become available.

A sticking point for any potential move is the fact that Williams Team Principal James Vowles revealed at the team's season launch that Albon is contracted for next season, so unless there's a break clause in that agreement, no move will be possible.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Carlos Sainz to Stake Sauber

We already know that Carlos Sainz will be leaving Ferrari to facilitate Hamilton's switch and the most likely landing spot for the Spaniard is Stake Sauber.

This is definitely with a view to the future when Audi will take over the running of the outfit from 2026.

Sainz has strong ties with the German marque through his father, Carlos Sr - who is fresh from winning the Dakar Rally with Audi. Those ties mean a potential move makes the most sense compared to other options.

His form over the past two seasons has been up and down but victory in the Singapore Grand Prix last term was the only non-Red Bull triumph all year and the manner of the win was enough to underline Sainz's qualities. It would be surprising if this move didn't happen.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Fernando Alonso to Mercedes

Fernando Alonso firmly shunned any talk of a move to Mercedes during the Aston Martin launch but he has already started to underline his strength in the driver market.

The two-time World Champion has yet to secure a victory since returning to the sport but proved he still has what it takes with some virtuoso performances during his first season with the Silverstone-based outfit.

Mercedes' first choice to succeed Hamilton would likely be from in-house with junior Kimi Antonelli but that all depends on how his inaugural F2 campaign pans out.

If another year is needed to allow maturity to grow, Alonso could be the best option for the Silver Arrows and, let's face it, the Spaniard is no stranger to a head-turning transfer.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Valtteri Bottas to Williams

If Albon does make the move away from Williams, then the team would need to find an experienced replacement to partner with what is likely to be Logan Sargeant for 2025.

The driver would need to be able to lead the development team with confidence and Valtteri Bottas could be that name. It could be dependent on whether Sainz does make the move to Stake Sauber but the Finn makes plenty of sense from Williams' perspective.

Bottas has past experience with Team Principal Vowles from when the pair were at Mercedes and would help with early integration and, though it has been eight years since he last did, he entered the sport with the Grove-based outfit and left on good terms.

As a gap-filler, Bottas may be the answer, should Williams need it.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Sergio Perez to Formula E

If his time is up at Red Bull, Perez may find himself without an F1 drive.

If that is the case, he would be gratefully received into Formula E and the move could well make sense. Red Bull's hierarchy has intimated that Perez is the type of driver who needs an arm around the shoulder to get the best from him.

That would almost certainly come from the FE paddock and, with the high-management style of race in the all-electric series, his skillset may well suit and after his service in the highest echelon of single-seater racing, Perez certainly deserves to go and have the chance of firmly being in the limelight, rather than in the shadows of a dominant force.

			© Red Bull Content Pool
	© Red Bull Content Pool

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