13 F1 Drivers Out Of Contract At The End of The F1 2024 Season

The driver lineup stays the same in 2024 as at the end of the 2023 F1 season, so this year will be a whirlwind of activity in the F1 driver market.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 8, 2024

F1 Drivers

Remarkably, after the 2023 season concluded, not a single F1 driver switched teams, marking a unique occurrence in the history of F1.

In a turn of events, all F1 teams opted to retain their driver pairings from the 2023 finale. However, this stability may be short-lived as numerous contract negotiations loom in 2024, signalling a potentially dynamic year ahead. Let the crazy season begin.

READ MORE: 2024 F1 Calendar: A Guide to Record 24-Race Season

Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

While Max Verstappen enjoys a long-term contract with Red Bull, extending nearly to the decade’s end, Sergio Perez finds himself in a less secure position. The Mexican driver, who extended his stay with Red Bull through the end of 2024 with a two-year contract signed around the Monaco GP in 2022, faces substantial pressure to maintain his role within the team.

Perez’s situation is complicated by his inconsistent performances and the perceived underutilisation of the RB19’s full capabilities, especially notable given his second-place finish in the 2023 Drivers’ Championship. Red Bull may view these factors with increased concern, mainly if rival teams narrow the competitive gap.

However, Perez has the opportunity to shape his destiny with Red Bull, at least for the moment. The presence of Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri, looming as a potential challenge, has led to Red Bull setting clear performance expectations for Perez in the 2024 season.

Perez’s future as Verstappen’s teammate hinges on his ability to deliver consistent results and avoid controversies. Failure to meet these objectives could signal the end of his tenure at Red Bull.

Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

Carlos Sainz faces an uncertain future when he approaches the final year of his contract with Ferrari. Unlike his teammate, a long-term contract extension has not been discussed for Sainz. However, Ferrari’s team boss, Fred Vasseur, has expressed interest in retaining Sainz beyond the expiration of his existing contract.

In a statement made during a pre-Christmas event for sponsor Estrella Galicia, Sainz conveyed his intention to secure a renewed contract with Ferrari before the 2024 season in Bahrain.

“We have to agree, and we have three months ahead of us to do it,” he said.

“Until the first race of the World Championship. Obviously, I want to renew and I would like to do it for more than a year. I feel perfectly valued by Fred and the entire Ferrari family and as a driver, that is your main priority.”

Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

Experiencing a renaissance in his career, Fernando Alonso, after departing from Formula 1 at the end of 2018, made a notable comeback with Alpine in 2021. His move to Aston Martin in 2023 initially appeared unconventional. Yet, it proved well-timed as the team demonstrated significant competitive improvement, fielding one of the fastest cars early in the 2023 season.

Despite some fluctuations in their competitive edge throughout the year, the relationship between Alonso and Aston Martin remains strong and mutually satisfying. Notably, Alonso has managed to avoid the frustration that marred his tenures at previous teams.

Aston Martin’s team boss, Mike Krack, has been forthright about his intentions, expressing a clear desire to retain Alonso’s services beyond 2024. The question is whether Alonso will agree to a new contract, potentially extending his illustrious career to nearly a quarter-century.

Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

In mid-2021, Esteban Ocon cemented his relationship with Alpine by signing a three-year contract, reflecting the team’s confidence in his talent. Three years on, however, both Ocon and Alpine find themselves consistently competing in the upper midfield. A significant point of concern for Ocon is the complete overhaul of the team’s management since his last contract signing. With Alpine’s team boss Bruno Famin, CEO Philippe Krief, and Groupe Renault CEO Luca de Meo not in their current roles back in June 2021, Ocon faces a markedly different landscape for negotiating his future with the team beyond 2024.

Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

Pierre Gasly, having completed his inaugural season with Alpine, confronts a similar scenario as his teammate Ocon in terms of management changes affecting contract negotiations. Notably, Luca de Meo, now part of the leadership team, was instrumental in approving Gasly’s signing in late 2022.

Gasly reportedly has an option in his contract for 2025, suggesting that as long as both parties meet certain performance targets, an extension could smoothly transition from possibility to certainty.

Alex Albon (Williams)

Alex Albon has remarkably revitalised his Formula 1 career with Williams, successfully returning to the grid. His performance in 2023 was particularly impressive, as he consistently scored points in a car that wasn’t highly competitive, solidifying his status within the team.

Under the new leadership of James Vowles in 2023, Williams has been on an upward trajectory. Vowles’ successful advocacy for additional capital expenditure to enhance the team’s facilities further bolstered this positive change, indicating a strong commitment to future success.

If Albon maintains his impressive form into 2024, Williams will likely view him as a critical asset for their future plans. However, Albon’s rising stock in the sport might open up other opportunities, potentially influencing the dynamics of his contract negotiations with Williams.

Logan Sargeant (Williams)

American driver Logan Sargeant narrowly secured his place at Williams for the upcoming 2024 season, with his contract extension being confirmed only after the conclusion of the 2023 season. Despite demonstrating potential with occasional bursts of speed, Sargeant’s rookie year was marked by inconsistency and a tendency to make errors, though these were somewhat expected given his inexperience.

Heading into 2024, Sargeant faces significant pressure to deliver more consistent and error-free performances. The tolerance for mistakes is likely to be much lower in his second season. To solidify his position at Williams, Sargeant needs to not only show substantial improvement but also match or exceed the performance level of his teammate, Alex Albon. Should he fail to meet these heightened expectations, Williams might consider introducing new talent into their driver lineup.

Daniel Ricciardo (RB)

Daniel Ricciardo achieved a remarkable comeback to Formula 1 in 2023, bouncing back from what appeared to be a career downturn at the end of 2022 following challenging seasons with McLaren. A broken metacarpal nearly jeopardised his return, but his resilient performance convinced Red Bull to offer him a place in their sister team for the 2024 season. This move marks Ricciardo’s return to a familiar environment and serves as a motivational factor for Sergio Perez to enhance his performance.

Ricciardo is now positioned to reignite his once-thriving career and has expressed a desire to conclude his racing journey with Red Bull Racing. The upcoming season is crucial for him to demonstrate his capability and secure a more permanent position within the team. For the moment, his primary focus is to perform well enough to maintain his place within the Red Bull family, regardless of the team’s name in the future.

Yuki Tsunoda (RB)

Similar to Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda faces the challenge of proving his worth to Red Bull for the 2024 season and beyond. This pressure is compounded by the impressive performances of Liam Lawson, who showed great potential filling in for Ricciardo.

Rumours suggest that Honda’s intervention influenced Tsunoda’s selection for the 2024 season, hinting at Red Bull’s forward-looking strategy. Tsunoda, now entering his fourth season with Red Bull’s junior team, has overcome many of the inconsistencies that marred his initial years in Formula 1. However, this season is pivotal for the Japanese driver, representing a critical juncture in his career.

Tsunoda’s future in Formula 1 hinges on his ability to perform at least on par with, if not better than, Ricciardo, who currently faces his own set of challenges. Should Tsunoda fail to rise to this challenge, it could signal the end of his tenure in Formula 1.

Valtteri Bottas (Stake F1)

Valtteri Bottas, following in the footsteps of Kimi Raikkonen, transitioned to a less intensive role in the midfield after leaving a top-tier team. This shift mirrors Raikkonen’s move to Sauber (later known as Alfa Romeo), though Bottas’ experience differs significantly in terms of competitive performance.

While Raikkonen had the advantage of driving a relatively competitive car during his initial seasons with Sauber, Bottas’ tenure with Alfa Romeo, which has since become the Stake F1 Team, has been less remarkable. His results have been modest, consisting mainly of a few points finishes, and his performance has not decisively outshone that of his teammate, Zhou Guanyu, as some might have expected.

Nonetheless, Bottas remains a reliable and steadfast driver. His ambition is to continue in Formula 1 long enough to join Audi when they enter the sport in 2026. The key to achieving this goal may lie in securing a new two-year contract, but it remains to be seen if Bottas can deliver the necessary performances to warrant such an extension.

Zhou Guanyu (Stake F1)

Zhou Guanyu finds himself in a situation similar to Bottas’, albeit with the advantage of youth, suggesting untapped potential yet to be fully realized. Zhou has been a somewhat unexpected asset in the midfield battles. His performance might have garnered more attention if not for a challenging start at the Budapest race in 2023.

Like Bottas, Zhou has experienced a degree of obscurity in the midfield. As the end of his current contract approaches, he needs to deliver strong results to elevate his standing and renew interest in his driving capabilities. The upcoming season will be crucial for Zhou to make his mark and secure his future in Formula 1.

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

Kevin Magnussen‘s journey with Haas has been a rollercoaster. After being let go by the team and rehired following Nikita Mazepin‘s departure, the Danish driver has been under pressure to justify Haas’s decision to bring him back. His impressive early performances in 2022 and his memorable pole position in Brazil now seem like distant achievements as Magnussen faced difficulties adapting to the VF-23 car, a struggle he has openly acknowledged.

In contrast, Magnussen’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg managed to deliver some remarkable qualifying performances in 2023, showcasing his speed and adding pressure on Magnussen. Magnussen’s 2023 season was largely underwhelming, making the upcoming 2024 season critical for him. He needs to deliver significant results to secure his place in the team and prove that he deserves to continue with Haas beyond this year.

Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

Nico Hulkenberg, often referred to as “the Hulk,” has experienced a resurgence in his Formula 1 career despite not translating his impressive qualifying performances into notable race results. This resurgence has sparked speculation about him being a potential candidate for a seat with Audi when they enter the sport in 2026.

Hulkenberg’s ability to consistently showcase speed during qualifying sessions has been a highlight, demonstrating his capacity to maximise the car’s potential. This performance suggests that the limited points finishes were more a reflection of the car’s capabilities rather than his driving skills.

After a hiatus from a full-time drive, with only occasional appearances as a substitute driver, Hulkenberg has returned without a sense of desperation, bringing a seasoned perspective to his driving. The critical question now is whether he will continue with Haas in 2025 and maintain a level of performance that keeps him on Audi’s radar for their Formula 1 venture.

Source: PlanetF1.com

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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