Kevin Magnussen reckons Carlos Sainz is key driver in the market to sort F1 2025 line-up, as Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant and Zhou Guanyu add in.

The F1 silly season rages on to sort out the 2025 seats and between Canada and Spain, there were further developments especially on the FIA side where some changes were made to the International Sporting Code, after a special dispensation request.

The FIA removed the required rule of valid road driving license for any driver wanting a Super License whether to race in F1 or undertake a FP1 session. Previously, any driver had to have a native road driving license, which is only possible for 18-year-olds.

Mercedes’ Andrea Kimi Antonelli is 17-year-old as of now and will only turn 18-years on August 25. But with the FIA change, he can at least obtain a FP1 Super License for F1 teams to run him in an official session and test him in serious conditions.

While Williams’ Sargeant has played down any of his replacement situation before the 2024 F1 season ends, the American is still chasing to be retained for 2025. As per Haas’ Magnussen, the whole driver market depends on Ferrari’s Sainz, who is confused himself.

He has offers from Sauber/Audi and Williams as things stands, but Sainz is not certain which one to take. His decision will then set off the domino to fall, which also has Sauber pair of Bottas and Guanyu, along with Alpine’s Ocon, who is linked to a seat at Haas.

While Bottas has been linked to Sauber/Audi, his teammate Guanyu has been in the news to return to the Renault family at Alpine, especially after the French manufacturer tied up with one of the Chinese driver’s backers i.e the Geely Group.

Kevin Magnussen: “He is. Carlos is the cork in the bottle. I think a lot of guys are waiting for him to make a move and then eventually all the other pieces of the puzzle will fall. That’s the truth of that.”

Carlos Sainz: “The latest is that a decision will be taken very soon. I don’t want to wait any longer. I think it’s getting to a point where it’s obviously taking space out of my head for quite a few weeks now and months and I think it’s obviously time to make a decision. The decision will be taken soon. And yeah, so hopefully soon we will have things to talk about. That’s the thing. I’m still not sure one way or another. It’s still something that I’m discussing with my team and brainstorming and obviously I need a couple of days back at home and before the Spanish Grand Prix. I’ve been at home, but you don’t have you head in the future, you have your head in the Spanish Grand Prix. It’s been a very hectic couple of weeks after Canada for me. So I haven’t had time to really sit down and take a decision. And this is what I will target in the next few weeks.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “Well, I mean, Canada obviously helps. As I said, I needed a result like that. Obviously I would like to stay. So as I say, now that I’m back in that Red Bull family that’s where… I really don’t see myself anywhere else. So that’s where I’d love to stay and continue. I also said, I think, before the weekend in Canada that, you know, I obviously want to earn it. Like I don’t just want it to be like, ‘ Yeah. Yeah. OK. Stay another year’. I obviously want to be here because I know that I still belong here and can do can do performances like I did last week. So it’s also up to me just to make sure that I can keep pulling it out. And in that case, then I’ll be very happy to stay.”

Valtteri Bottas: “Developing? Yeah, still nothing really to add from the previous weekend. So, yeah, nothing has been confirmed or signed. But I think developing is a good word. But things are good because I can really now focus, you know, try to get those points that we haven’t got this weekend. And the management is working on the background. Because I think everyone in the team would deserve some points this weekend.”

Esteban Ocon: “There are good discussions going on at the moment, I am happy with how this is going. We will announce when the time is right. There is nothing to announce yet. I let my management team deal with all that, I am very focused on what I have to do on track. I think it is more complex than this, so I would not go into details because then media will create stories but there is a lot of things to look deep inside. There are lot of different projects all around the grid and it is important to look well inside that, to see how things are going to evolve in future and that’s what we are discussing at the moment.”

Logan Sargeant: “That one’s [Andrea Antonelli Kimi replacing] definitely just a rumour. People know how to push media [regarding FIA rule change]. That’s for sure. For me, it is worth looking at all options, there’s no reason not to in my position at the moment but none the less, it kind of goes back to the point that you just try to keep performing better and you never know what doors open or stay open. If anything, you just really focus on yourself. At the end of the day, you just want to perform the best you can. That’s obviously going to give you the best situation at the end of the year, which is where you want to be. I’m just trying to keep uplifting myself, get performance. That’s why these little upgrades can be massively dictating [of] what happens to you, so happy to get that and hopefully put it to use.”

Zhou Guanyu: “On my side, let’s say, with the options still available, of course, fair to say I’m talking to all the options and trying to figure out what is the best together. And of course, the main priority remains, try to stay on the grid for next season. But yeah, further details, nothing has been confirmed. So we need a little bit longer, of course, to be understanding exactly where I’m heading off or staying in the future. No, I haven’t thought about where – if I am not staying in F1 – then where I am heading, because right now we are trying everything to, of course stay for next year. It is fair to say that if you have a contract then it will probably be until 2026, as I don’t think a team will take a driver only for one year with the rules changing, so definitely that [going out] is not my priority yet to think about other championships, but we will see. [Regarding Geely Group], all I can say is that, for myself, personally, I’ve been already working together with Geely Group. I’ve been an ambassador for their cars, Zeekr is from their group, so I’m very close with them.

“Of course, they still have a high interest around motorsports, on Formula 1 in general. I think anything, I think where I’m heading, they will try to help me – for sure – in that side, which is nice to have. But then knowing they have a good connection with Alpine, it’s not really making my decision more where I’m going to heading off, but that’s what they are doing with their own road cars. But yeah, I’m convinced that they will try everything for me and also myself together with my manager group, but nothing else to add really, on that side of things. For sure, they have interest in this sport in Formula 1 and I think, especially, they want to definitely come back to Formula 1, but which way, we need to see – nothing more to add. Of course, the way I’ve always done is more about a partnership and in a very good way. Close, let’s say partnership, but the rest, we need to see what their strategy is in terms of building up the brand and marketing they have.”

Here’s last from Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant and Sauber pair

Here’s Esteban Ocon reflects on leaving Alpine

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