Reputed F1 journalist reveals two drivers have signed last ‘lucrative’ deal before impending retirement

A great deal of action is expected to take place after the end of the upcoming season, with specific emphasis on driver movements given the number of racers without a contract for 2025.

The future of Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull star Sergio Perez is perhaps the cloudiest, with both drivers under pressure to find an extended run at their teams.

F1 driver line-up. Credit:
F1 driver line-up. Credit:

With every team on the grid expected to take some tough decisions as it enters a new era of F1 starting with the change in technical regulations from 2026, only McLaren and Mercedes have tied down their driver line-up till 2025.

This has prompted reputed F1 journalist Scott Mitchell-Malm to discuss why these men will potentially be signing their last big contract in the world of motorsport before calling time on their careers.

No new drivers are entering F1 for the upcoming season and naturally, that means the overall age in the sport will increase. It also makes it apparent that some racers are getting closer to the end of their careers.

In recent years, teams have focused on developing a select group of drivers in their academies, thereby making it difficult for rookies to enter F1 through success in junior Formula categories.

Is the end near for Perez and Bottas?

With both Bottas and Perez on the wrong side of their 30s, Mitchell-Malm believes the only way they can continue featuring in F1 is if they decide to take up an offer from a smaller team as it seems unlikely they will be afforded a longer run by their current employers.

“I’ll give you a comparison, [Valtteri] Bottas and [Sergio] Perez could conceivably have done their last proper deals in F1,” Mitchell-Malm said.

“They might have another deal in them, but neither of them has a lucrative deal left in their locker.

“I think they can extend their careers but they don’t have a big one.”

While Horner has reiterated that the ball remains in Perez’s hands as far as his future at Red Bull is concerned, his frosty relationship with Max Verstappen is likely to work against him even if he performs well this year.

Meanwhile, amidst the impending entry of Audi into the world of F1 through a partnership with Sauber, the future of Bottas is also under doubt as the German manufacturer is keen on building its future around a young driver.

Unless Bottas and Perez make a conscious decision to accept shorter term contracts, their time in F1 could come to an end very soon.

Read more: Mercedes jolted by Lewis Hamilton successor ‘insurance policy’ going awry amidst impending retirement

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