F1 season preview as Max Verstappen looks to defend world title
Predicting the F1 grid for 2025 couldn’t be harder with most drivers seeing their contracts end in 2024 – opening the door for a flurry of mo dx. Charles Leclerc could be on his way to Mercedes and Lando Norris may join Red Bull, with many other potential switches to come…
Max Verstappen is the only driver known to have a contract beyond 2025 with the two-time world champion having a mega deal which lasts until 2028. The second driver seat at the constructor is up for grabs as Sergio Perez’s deal ends next year and Norris could replace him.
Norris is in high demand and the McLaren star has spoken himself about the interest shown by Red Bull. The British driver has voiced his frustration about his uncompetitive car, but team boss Zak Brown says that there are “zero exit clauses” in his current contract which expires in 2025.
Norris could be brought in to replace Perez amid simmering tension between himself and world champion Verstappen. That could then leave the door open for Perez to join Ferrari, where he would have the chance to battle with Verstappen for the world title.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that Ferrari driver Leclerc is on his radar and a move could come when his contract ends in 2024. Lewis Hamilton continues to ponder over extending his contract with the Silver Arrows, who could become impatient and replace the seven-time world champion with Leclerc.
Leclerc showed his driving ability again at last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix by qualifying quickest for both races, but was let down by his car’s lack of power compared to Red Bull as Perez won both races. Hamilton could instead join Perez at Ferrari and compete for the first seat with the Mexican.
Red Bull urged to step in with Mercedes instruction to Max Verstappen[QUOTES]
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Sergio Perez wins Azerbaijan GP as Hamilton and Russell struggle[ANALYSIS]
George Russell proved himself to Mercedes last season taking eight podium places – including a race win at the Brazilian Grand Prix – and is unlikely to move elsewhere. Fernando Alonso is unlikely to extend his contract beyond 2024 and team-mate Lance Stroll has been told to end his career.
That would open up a seat at Aston Martin who have made huge progress this season and could be an exciting prospect for Carlos Sainz. Lower down the grid there could be mass changes with only Valtteri Bottas at Alfa Romeo under contract until the end of 2025.
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