2025 Driver Live-up Predictions

Inspired by Will Buxton, these are my predictions for the 2025 Formula 1 line-up. I’m expecting a lot of changes throughout the years, with only 12 drivers maintaining a seat on the grid in four years’ time.  

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton narrowly missed out on the 2021 title in the last race of the season, but ensured Mercedes secured the Constructor’s Championship. The first season of the new regulations was difficult, but Mercedes returned to form in 2023, with Lewis Hamilton winning his eighth and final World Championship, retiring at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony.

George Russell joined the team in 2022 and achieved his first win of his career in front of his home fans. The Briton played the supporting role in the 2023 season but goes into 2025 as the defending Champion having dominated the 2024 season.

Mercedes made waves by drafting in Esteban Ocon at short notice following Hamilton’s shock retirement, but they set their sights early in 2025 by signing 2022 Champion, Lando Norris. The young veteran follows Hamilton’s footsteps by jumping from McLaren to Mercedes, with Mercedes aiming for their third straight Constructor’s Championship with an all-British pairing.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen starts his tenth season with Red Bull, aiming to get the Austrian outfit back to winning ways after putting all their effort into securing the 2021 Driver’s World Championship and being behind on the new regulations.

Red Bull maintained the partnership of Verstappen and Sergio Perez, the latter retiring at the end of 2023. Daniel Ricciardo returned ‘home’ for the 2024 season and announces at the end of 2024 that the next season will be his final season, wanting to finish his career with the team that gave him his first shot.

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc leads the Scuderia for the sixth season, returning to the top step of the podium in prior years. Early in the 2023 season, Ferrari announce their intentions of bringing the Schumacher name back to the team by promoting Mick Schumacher. Having shown rapid improvements in his pace and race craft in the Haas car, a new challenge was needed, and Schumacher was confirmed for the 2024 season. Whilst Schumacher missed out on a podium in his first season in red, 2025 promises to be Ferrari’s best chance at a title since 2018.  

McLaren

Virtue of Mercedes and Red Bull vying for the 2021 titles, they fall behind in development for the 2022 regulations. The Woking side nail the new regulations and Lando Norris wins his first F1 World Championship in a closely fought contest.

Norris and Ricciardo keep McLaren on the podium throughout 2023, but with Hamilton’s and Perez’s retirements, McLaren sees itself with a brand-new partnership for 2024. Carlos Sainz returns after his departure from Ferrari, returning to a team who restored his confidence and gave him his first podium in the sport. Sainz partners 2023 IndyCar Champion, Patricio O’Ward. O’Ward impressed McLaren CEO Zak Brown in the 2021 Abu Dhabi post-season test with his outright pace, and whilst rumours grew during 2022 that O’Ward would make the switch to Formula 1, he vowed to win the IndyCar Championship first.  

Aston Martin

The Aston Martin team invested heavily under the new regulations, building a new factory and wind tunnel, combining with excellent recruitment to score podiums, and the manufacturer’s first win. Lance Stroll has matured into a team leader in his ninth F1 season, as Sebastian Vettel retired after the 2023 season. Alex Albon, having impressed at Williams, switches to British racing green, aiming to end his four year wait for a podium.  

Alpine

After three back-to-back championships in lower formulas, Oscar Piastri inexplicably was not linked with a Formula 1 drive in 2022. After two-time champion Fernando Alonso retired, the Australian Alpine Academy driver was recruited for the 2023 line-up.

The Alpine roster would be completely new for 2023, as Pierre Gasly swapped AlphaTauri for Alpine. The experienced Frenchman would lead the Alpine team through to 2025 with Piastri.   

Alfa Romeo

Theo Pourchaire enters his third season with Alfa Romeo, having dominated the 2022 Formula 2 Championship, partnering Valtteri Bottas for two seasons. The young Frenchman becomes a regular point scorer for the team, noted for his Monaco heroics.

Bottas retired from the sport at the end of 2024, choosing to pursue a joint triathlon and rallying career. This leaves a spot open for the 2024 Formula 2 Champion and Ferrari junior Arthur Leclerc. Leclerc joins F1 having previously won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 Championships with Prema, and deservedly earnt the call-up to join his brother on the grid.  

AlphaTauri

The Red Bull junior team became a team of inconsistency throughout the seasons. AlphaTauri become the only team with a completely new line-up in 2025, bringing in Liam Lawson and Dennis Hauger.  The pair had been battling through Formula 3 and Formula 2, and were able to carry on their rivalry into Formula 1.

Williams

The Grove team have re-joined Formula 1’s midfield under the new regulations. Nicholas Latifi’s experience helped to develop the car into a consistent point scorer, combined with Alex Albon’s pace, the team earned a fifth-place finish in the constructor’s championship. Once Vettel retired, Albon switched to Aston Martin. Williams became the first team to enter a women’s driver as three-time W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick debuted in 2024.

In 2024, former IndyCar Champion Colton Herta saw the success of Pato O’Ward and decided to race overseas in the 2025 season. Herta was touted to join multiple teams but was impressed with Williams’ growth, wanting to continue their run to their first podium since Russell’s second place in 2021’s Belgium Grand Prix.   

Haas (Team Russia)

Nikita Mazepin has become a mainstay in Formula 1, settling into the Haas car under the new regulations. Gene Haas sold the company, with Dmitry Mazepin stepping up investment to form a Russian entry. The team strengthened their Ferrari relations, keeping a Ferrari junior driver in the second seat. Antonio Giovinazzi was thrown a lifeline in 2023 after a year out as Ferrari reserve driver, but in 2024, former Formula 2 Champion Robert Shwartzman entered the team for an all-Russian partnership which was retained for 2025.   

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