Column

williams silly season f1 2025 mercedes

Is Williams the ideal place for this Mercedes' super talent in 2025?

22 December at 17:00

At the end of 2024, as many as 14 drivers' contracts expire. But six drivers are tied up until after that season. A mega Silly Season lies in wait, but what are the proportions at the moment?

When do Albon and Sargeant's contracts expire?

What 2025 will look like is still uncertain for Williams. Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant's contracts expire at the end of 2024. Albon is in demand by many big teams, and the chances of the Thai remaining at Williams after 2024 are extremely slim. Logan Sargeant has been given a second chance by James Vowles, but the question is whether Sargeant really has the qualities to take Williams forward. After 2024, there may be more options for Williams.

With Vowles as team boss, Pat Fry as CTO, and possibly a yet-to-be-appointed big name as technical director (Mike Elliott seems to be a serious candidate), Williams has more appeal than in previous years. If Albon leaves, the team will have to look for a new leader anyway, and some options are available.

Who stands a chance of getting a seat at Williams in 2025?

For example, Esteban Ocon would be a great move to get another chance at Williams with his experience. Ocon has the necessary experience but seems to lack the top speed to take that next step. At Williams, he might be able to shine again in calmer waters. Of course, the same applies to him should Pierre Gasly lose the duel at Alpine. There is little chance that Alpine will appear on the grid with the same two drivers together after 2024.

For Carlos Sainz or Sergio Perez, the move to Williams now seems to be a little too far back, but not so for Nico Hulkenberg. Once starting his F1 career at Williams. At Haas, the German shows he still has plenty of speed. He could certainly be considered for the leadership role at Williams, but he is also in demand by other teams.

For Williams' spot, the eye will again be on young talent. After Sargeant, Williams may be able to move to another junior of their own, with Zak O'Sullivan driving in Formula 2 in 2024. The Briton is part of the Williams Academy and finished second in the last F3 season. Williams speaks highly of him, and in 2024, he will get the chance at ART as Victor Martins' teammate. Instantly a high benchmark. If he can keep up with or even beat the Frenchman, Sargeant's spot will not be safe.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli is the biggest talent potentially eligible for a seat at Williams. With the Italian, Mercedes have gold in their hands and it says a lot that the normally conservative Mercedes training programme now chooses to skip F3 with Antonelli. The young Italian wins everything he competes in. If he succeeds on debut in F2 too, Mercedes will be keen to offer him a place in F1. With Williams, ties are strong, and Toto Wolff knows what he has with team boss James Vowles at Williams. After Valtteri Bottas, George Russell and Alexander Albon, Williams seems to be the ideal place to grow juniors.