2025 season, Opinion, Prediction

Hamilton to Ferrari 2025. What’s next?

It’s official. Lewis Hamilton will be racing for Scuderia Ferrari in 2025. In a shock move, the British driver has decided to terminate his long-term partnership with Mercedes at the end of this season. Of all the driver and team switches predicted for 2025, Hamilton’s place at Mercedes always felt certain.

It’s well known that the dream of racing for Ferrari is shared by many drivers. The team carries with it a rich history of motorsport legends and a devoted fan base in the form of the Tifosi. Despite some recent missteps, Ferrari still holds the greatest number of Constructors’ Championships in the sport’s history.

The Leclerc/Hamilton partnership at Ferrari will make for a very strong driver lineup and one that will be intriguing to follow. However, it does raise two major questions. Who’s replacing Lewis? And where will Sainz be racing in 2025?

First off, the situation at Mercedes. There are various talented drivers suited to the position, but I’ve narrowed it down to three potential options.

Source: f1i.com

Alex Albon

Albon seems like an obvious choice.

A driver with plenty of talent and five seasons experience – Alex would be a sensible pick. There are already links between Williams and Mercedes, and the fact that Alex has a strong relationship with potential teammate Russell is yet another factor that would make him a positive addition.

In 2023, Albon made it clear he could deliver stellar results for Williams. In my ‘Top 5 Moments’ post, I featured his excellent P4 in Zandvoort qualifying. But beyond that, Albon proved that he is a consistent, dependable driver able to maximise on points.

The one issue I see with Albon in the seat is how it aligns with the team’s future. He’ll likely want to stay with Mercedes for several years, which puts Mercedes in a tricky position if Antonelli delivers. And if Antonelli’s record is any indication of future performance, he should.

Overall, I still believe Albon racing for Mercedes is a solid option.

Source: Formula 2

Kimi Antonelli

If you’ve read my article on Antonelli, you know I’m sold on his talent. In the title alone, I dub him “the future of Mercedes F1”. And I genuinely believe that. With bounds of talent and the experience that Prema brings in F2, it’s likely that Antonelli will have a successful first season in the series.

However, even if he overcomes his experience disadvantage in such a competitive field, I still wouldn’t link him to the Mercedes seat for 2025.

Throwing a young driver like Antonelli into the deep end might do more harm than good. We’ve seen in the past how hard that is on upcoming talent.

A year or two in a customer team like Williams may benefit Antonelli more in the long run, allowing him to build experience before eventually joining Mercedes. If Antonelli performs well there, it should make for a natural progression.

Source: XPBimages

Fernando Alonso

This one’s been talked about a lot in the last few days. But I’m a bit sceptical.

On the one hand, it’s undeniable that Alonso is still performing at remarkable levels. The first half of last season is proof of that. It also seems rational that Alonso could do a short stint at Mercedes, after which Antonelli could step in.

Be that as it may, Alonso seems well-settled at Aston Martin – where it doesn’t look like the driver lineup should change much. If the team can capitalise on the form they showed at the start of 2023, further advancements could be within reach. I still believe there’s a lot of potential at Aston for Alonso.

That being said, Fernando is the only realistic option that replaces the World Champion/’star driver’ role that Hamilton had at Mercedes.

An Alonso/Russell pairing would be a mighty lineup, but I’m just not sure it will happen.

The Round-Up

As a long-time supporter of Albon, I feel he’s a driver that could fit well at Mercedes. He’s certainly proved he deserves to fight at the front again.

As mentioned earlier, Hamilton’s move to Ferrari means that Carlos will have to look elsewhere. It seems he’s been linked to the 2026 Audi seat. For 2025, that could mean a drive at Stake F1 to serve as a transition. Teams like Mercedes or Aston Martin may be looking into Sainz too, but given the Audi link, would they really want him on a 1-year deal?

It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out, with ‘silly season’ continuing throughout 2024.

Cover Image Credit: Batchelor / XPB Images (www.xpbimages.com)