How long does each F1 driver’s contract last? 11 expiring in 2024

The contracts of over half of the 2024 Formula 1 field expire at the end of this year

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Lewis Hamilton‘s bombshell news that he’s joining Ferrari at the end of 2024 sent the driver market into overdrive, making Carlos Sainz a free agent and opening up a seat at Mercedes.

Following hot on the heels of Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc both extending their stays at McLaren and Ferrari, the domino effect Hamilton started should dwarf the chaos Fernando Alonso caused by leaving Alpine in 2022.

And the effects have already been felt with Alex Albon surprising many by committing his long-term future to Williams, Alonso following suit at Aston Martin and Nico Hulkenberg signing with Sauber ahead of Audi taking over in 2026.

Meanwhile, 11 drivers are fighting for their next contract in 2024 and a host of talent outside the current F1 grid waiting for any chance to muscle their way in, plus one of the best F2 lineups in recent memory too.

And while Max Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull in 2028, that doesn’t stop perennial speculation on his long-term Formula 1 future either.

Who has the biggest contract in F1?

Verstappen‘s five-year deal is an addition to his original agreement which ended in 2023. The reigning three-time F1 World Champion will be 30 years old if he sees his contract through, having joined the sport in 2015.

He’s reportedly set to earn a cool $55 million from Red Bull in 2024, he’ll be comfortably the highest-paid driver on the grid – and drives like it.

However, Hamilton was seemingly offered a blank cheque by Ferrari and is allegedly earning as much as $100 million in 2025.

Leclerc‘s latest contract has been reported by some outlets as running until 2029, but is only confirmed as tying him down “past the end of 2024”. There’s likely plenty of ways out for both parties while Norris‘ extension announcement was similarly vague, keeping him at McLaren “until at least the end of 2026”.

That means his teammate Oscar Piastri officially has the joint-second longest contract in F1, not bad for a driver who only made his debut in 2023.

Lance Stroll also has a multi-year deal at Aston Martin – sort of. His unique situation of father Lawrence owning the team means he’s effectively on a rolling contract until circumstances change.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after winning 2021 Russian GP with McLaren’s Lando Norris who finished P7 REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Which drivers’ contracts expire in 2024?

2024 was already set to be one of the wildest F1 seasons ever for driver transfers, and Hamilton‘s shock switch has sent it to a whole new level.

11 drivers’ contracts expire at the end of 2024 including the only 2023 grand prix winners not named Max Verstappen in Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez while the likes of Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda all look set to continue in F1 but there’s no guarantee that will be with their current teams.

The regulation change coming for 2026 combined with Audi taking over Stake and Andretti potentially joining them on the grid throws things into further flux, though it remains to be seen whether teams will try and set themselves up at least a year out or allow another round of craziness in 2025.

Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant are all facing the possibility that 2024 could be their final year in F1, though with different magnitudes of points to prove.

Release clauses in F1

Fernando Alonso, reserve driver Oscar Piastri and Esteban Ocon during Alpine F1 A522 Launch REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

These contracts absolutely aren’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to the driver market, as money and/or good lawyers can generally overcome any issues if the desire is there.

For starters, most top F1 drivers will have performance clauses in their contract which allows them to join another team. For example, Hamilton was set to race for Mercedes in 2025 but clearly gave himself control of escaping that if he wanted to.

In a different scenario, Alpine thought they had Piastri locked down for 2023 to place him as they wished but when McLaren announced they’d signed him, the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board ruled against the Enstone outfit.

Had Alpine won the case, they could’ve either forced Piastri to race for them instead or sought compensation from McLaren. However, teams are generally wary of forcing a driver to stay there against their will because it’s such a bad reputation when eventually looking to attract other drivers or staff.

So even though Gasly had signed a contract extension with AlphaTauri for 2023, when Alpine came calling then Red Bull allowed him to abandon that deal.

Drivers can also be bought out of their contract to move elsewhere. Nico Rosberg‘s retirement caught Mercedes cold at the end of 2016, so the Silver Arrows paid Williams around $13 million to take Bottas as his replacement.

Finally, it’s not just the drivers that hold all the cards as teams can insert automatic extensions into the contracts, as Williams seemingly did with Sargeant in 2023.

F1 2024 drivers’ contract length

DriverTeamContract end
Lance StrollAston MartinRolling
Max VerstappenRed Bull2028
Lando NorrisMcLaren2026*
Oscar PiastriMcLaren2026
Charles LeclercFerrari2029
George RussellMercedes2025
Alex AlbonWilliams2026*
Lewis HamiltonMercedes2024 – joining Ferrari in 2025
Sergio PerezRed Bull2024
Fernando AlonsoAston Martin2026*
Carlos SainzFerrari2024
Pierre GaslyAlpine2024
Esteban OconAlpine2024
Yuki TsunodaVisa Cash App RB2024
Valtteri BottasSauber2024
Nico HulkenbergHaas2024 – Joining Audi in 2025
Daniel RicciardoVisa Cash App RB2024
Zhou GuanyuSauber2024
Kevin MagnussenHaas2024
Logan SargeantWilliams2024
*At least this long
Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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