Formula 1 Racing

How the F1 transfer market is turning out for under-threat midfield drivers

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24 Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44 and Logan Sargeant, Williams FW46

The brutal realism of not having a drive in 2025 is beginning to sink in, with Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Oliver Bearman both poised to make the step up from F2.

Known as ‘silly season’, to describe the speculation about the feverish movement to secure a spot for next season; personally the term has always grated, because it is not especially silly and all rather exciting.

This season it was started earlier than usual.

Triggered by Lewis Hamilton’s switch to Ferrari and Lando Norris’ new long-term deal with McLaren both happening at the turn of the year, the driver market for 2025 is quickly falling into place.

As it stands, Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant, Esteban Ocon and Zhou Guanyu have yet to agree terms for next year.

The money was on Sainz making a switch to join Audi’s plans for its integration into F1 while Williams has also emerged as a potential destination for his services.

Gasly is likely to extend terms with Alpine, especially after it parted ways with Ocon, who in turn has been linked with Haas.

Bottas meanwhile, is poised for a return to Williams, meaning that potentially two of Sargeant, Magnussen and Zhou will not return for 2025.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24 Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44 and Logan Sargeant, Williams FW46

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

At 31, Magnussen is no stranger to the contractual nuances of F1, having been shown the door at McLaren, Renault and Haas before returning to the team in 2022.

As such he is philosophical about his future in the sport, and has made it clear to Haas that he wishes to remain with the team.

He said: “The team knows me very well, I’m a known quantity to the team. So I don’t think there’s anything for me to prove. 

“It’s a very open driver market this time around and we’ll see how it pans out. I’ve made it clear that I would love to continue here, and the team is in a good position and I’d love to be part of it. 

“I don’t know how long it’s going to take until we know how it’s going to go, but until then, you just keep driving.”

Zhou has seen his chances of showing his potential limited by failing to be in a position to fight for points, unlike his team-mate Bottas, who of course achieved 10 wins – all during his time with Mercedes

Consequently, Zhou knows he is under pressure to attract attention from other teams.

“I don’t know in one lap or in the race graph or the way…

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