Who is replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes? It was a big surprise when Lewis Hamilton quit Mercedes at the end of 2024 to join Ferrari. It was one of the most significant moves by a driver in Formula One history. The “silly season” in the driver market, when more than half of the drivers are not under contract, will always be until 2024.
But this was the first time anyone thought it would start this early, a month before the new season, especially not by a driver whose future seemed set. Hamilton signed a two-year deal in August, but it was a “1+1” deal, which meant he could leave for Ferrari.
It will significantly affect the market for drivers, making that seat one of the most sought-after in F1. That person was a seven-time world winner, and the team’s success was tied to theirs. It will take a lot of work to replace them.
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Who is replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes?
According to The Independent, following are some people who could replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.
A straight-swap deal might be the best choice for Mercedes. By the end of this year, Sainz’s deal with Ferrari was up. He will now look for a new team for 2025.
Sainz has won two races and been on the podium 18 times in his nine-year F1 career. His best performance was in Singapore last year, where he won the race.
Before Ferrari, the 29-year-old drove for Toro Rosso, Renault, and McLaren. He will be looking for his fifth team.
The deal for Sergio Perez at Red Bull ends at the end of the new season. He is another person who is likely to be unemployed by the end of 2024.
Given the gap to teammate Max Verstappen last year, an increase looks unlikely. Christian Horner’s team wants to get as many points as possible with the fastest car on the grid.
There were a lot of rumours last year that the Mexican might quit after he leaves Red Bull. If he changes his mind, Perez might want to talk to Wolff and Mercedes after this year. It would be his 14th straight season in the sport.
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Did the British show his hand too soon? The 24-year-old driver signed a new, long-term deal with McLaren last week. He will stay with the team past 2025 and into the next era of rule changes.
On the other hand, Norris is one of the fastest drivers in F1 and is still looking for his first win. Wolff could try to get Norris to replace Hamilton and keep the garage all British. However, it would cost a lot of money to do that right now.
Albon has been consistently good at Williams, where Mercedes has hired their last two drivers. He would be an excellent choice to replace Hamilton.
The British-Thai driver came up through Red Bull’s junior program but was let go at the end of 2020 because he hadn’t been needed to do better as Max Verstappen’s teammate for 18 months.
But after being alone for a year in 2021, Albon joined Williams as a backmarker and is now the team’s clear No. 1 driver. He led James Vowles’ (Wolff’s former right-hand man at Mercedes) team to seventh place in the manufacturers’ championship with 27 points last year.
You may wonder what the two-time world winner has yet to drive for. One of these teams is Mercedes.
Last year, the 42-year-old was terrific in his first season with Aston Martin. He won eight podiums and ended fourth in the drivers’ championship.
The Spanish driver doesn’t seem ready to quit, even though he is getting old. A move to the Silver Arrows could give him one last realistic chance to win a third-world title.
Mick Schumacher is the son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. He is Mercedes’ backup driver and was in the pits last year. Haas let the 24-year-old go at the end of 2022 after two rough years, and he is desperate to get back on the grid.
He has been having trouble and keeps running into the wall at Haas so that it wouldn’t be a good pick.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli
The wild card choice. The 17-year-old Italian driver is among the world’s most highly-rated young drivers. He is so promising that he skipped F3 this year to make his F2 start for Prema Racing with British teenager Ollie Bearman. In 2023, he won the Formula Regional championships in the Middle East and Europe.
Antonelli is in Mercedes’ young driver program, so promoting him to one of the sport’s big names in 2025, when he will only be 18, is risky. If he does well in F2 right away, though, he could become a real contender in the Silver Arrows ecosystem.
Other competitors include:
Esteban Ocon, an Alpine driver who used to be a reserve driver for Mercedes and is friendly with Wolff, is another possibility.
Daniel Ricciardo: Ricciardo could be in the running if the Aussie does well this season for Red Bull’s sister team (note to self: don’t call them the Visa Cash App RB team).
Valtteri Bottas: Will the safe-hands Finn be back? It didn’t look likely, but then again, Hamilton going to Ferrari didn’t look likely either.
Sebastian Vettel is a four-time world champion German racing driver who comes back to a German team.
What is Formula One all about?
Formula One, also written as Formula 1 or F1, is the top level of international racing for single-seater open-wheel formula cars.
For many years, the FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the best racing events in the world. In Formula One, a number of races called Grands Prix happen all over the world, in many different countries and regions.
The races take place on either purpose-built tracks or closed public roads. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is in charge of the sport.
That’s where you can find the most up-to-date Formula 1 news, video highlights, GP results, live timing, in-depth analysis, and expert comments.
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