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Silly Season: What does the future holds for Perez and Antonelli?

With Lewis Hamilton's extremely early switch to Ferrari, 'silly season' got underway very early this year. RacingNews365 takes a look at the driver market and who is in the running for which teams.

Monaco driver parade
Analysis
To news overview © XPBimages

It is looking increasingly likely that Sergio Perez will continue to race for Red Bull in 2025. However, as long as the Mexican's signature is not on paper, Carlos Sainz also seems to be holding back. 

Still, Sainz's chances of driving for Red Bull in 2025 seem to be very slim, so it remains to be seen which team the Spaniard will choose. The other available F1 drivers seem to be in the waiting room as a result.

As long as Sainz is not officially under contract anywhere, many Formula 1 teams do not seem to want to make a choice regarding the 2025 driver selection. With many rumours circulating, RacingNews365 lists the options for each team. Starting with the three fastest teams, which still have at least one spot vacant.

For this reason, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin will not appear in the overview. The first two are already fully locked in, and at Aston Martin there is no reason to expect Lance Stroll not to drive with that team in 2025. The Canadian's contract length is not known, but given the family links, the seat is his for as long as he wants it.

Red Bull

As Red Bull experiences increasing pressure from the competition, there is also more pressure on the driver duo. As is well known, Max Verstappen has a long-term contract with the Milton Keynes-based team. 

Still, the Dutchman's future at Red Bull is far from certain. However, the reigning world champion does seem set to stay with the Austrian team for 2025.

Perez also seems all but certain to join Red Bull in 2025 and a final agreement is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. A one-year contract seems to be the most logical option in this regard. Should this not succeed, Sainz is still a (small) option for Red Bull.

The question, however, is whether Sainz will still wait for an official confirmation in the coming weeks or will already go ahead and seize it himself. Sources within the paddock revealed that Sainz was going to announce his choice in the days after the Monaco GP, but this has still not happened. 

This still leaves a theoretical chance that Sainz could go to Red Bull after all, but that depends entirely on what Perez decides.

			© Red Bull Content Pool
	© Red Bull Content Pool

Mercedes

George Russell will be the leader at Mercedes next year and, whilst his team-mate has yet to be officially announced, the smart money is on it being Andrea Kimi Antonelli. The Italian has internally convinced Mercedes with some impressive testing outings, so it could be a 'one and done' year in F2 before a grand prix debut. 

Verstappen no longer seems to be an option for Mercedes in 2025, but the big question is what the team will do if Verstappen does make the switch in 2026.

Will Russell then be the one to clear the field? The Briton's contract expires in 2026, and so if it is Antonelli who gets the seat, will Russell be jettisoned for Verstappen, if he decides to leave Red Bull?

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Yuki Tsunoda is being linked to other teams, but how certain is it that he himself wants to or can leave? Many rumours are circulating about the Japanese driver, but nothing concrete seems to be on the table yet. 

His name has been linked to Audi and also to Haas, but with both teams he does not seem to be on the front foot.

So how much sense does it make to leave his current team, given that he and his car are becoming increasingly competitive? Another question is why Red Bull doesn't actually seem interested in Tsunoda's services. 

He is delivering solid results, consistently beating Daniel Ricciardo this year and yet he does not seem to have even been considered to be Perez's possible replacement.

That leaves Daniel Ricciardo's seat. The good-humoured Australian returned to Formula 1 last year as Nyck de Vries' replacement, but so far has not really impressed. It certainly doesn't help, then, that Red Bull has a major talent behind it in the person of Liam Lawson. 

The New Zealander is highly regarded and Helmut Marko has previously hinted that he will be on the grid in 2025 anyway, with Lawson also open to looking elsewhere for a seat if not in the Red Bull family.

It's up to Ricciardo to make sure that's not the case. Several sponsors will additionally be interested in keeping Ricciardo for the team. They work closely with Ricciardo and hope that he will stay with the team, as this will give them a guarantee of more exposure. 

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