- The biggest question yet remains who will replace Lewis Hamilton
- He is leaving for Ferrari in 2025
- He has spent 11 years with the German team
As the dust settles on F1 surprises, the biggest question yet remains Lewis Hamilton’s replacement at Mercedes following his exit to Ferrari in 2025.
The Silver Arrows have an array of options to consider for the 2025 Formula 1 season. But, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has a hard task ahead in picking the perfect replacement.
Hamilton’s exit leaves a void in the German team given his stellar racing record. It is with Mercedes that he won seven F1 World Championship titles between 2014 and 2020.
His 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race which would have handed him an eighth championship title remains as controversial today as it was then. So, who is his perfect replacement?
Further, his 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race which would have handed him an eighth championship title remains as controversial today as it was then. So, who is his perfect replacement?
Lewis Hamilton replacement at Mercedes
Each of the frontrunners bring a unique set of skills and experiences to the table. Here they are.
Carlos Sainz, often considered the collateral damage in the wake of Hamilton’s departure, emerges as a strong candidate. The Spaniard has been a standout performer during his three-year partnership with Charles Leclerc at Ferrari.
Sainz’s stock is riding high, having been the only non-Red Bull driver to secure a Grand Prix win in 2023. Sources suggest a positive relationship between Sainz and Mercedes boss Wolff, with ongoing conversations between their respective management teams.
A potential move to Mercedes would see Sainz bring his consistency, high-scoring ability, and well-regarded feedback to a team that has grappled with performance challenges in recent years.
The prospect of a straight swap between Ferrari and Mercedes makes strategic sense for both parties, with Sainz eyeing a transition from one competitive team to another, poised to deliver podiums and wins if the car meets expectations.
Alex Albon played a pivotal role in securing P7 for Williams in 2023. He now finds himself in high demand across the F1 landscape. While committed to Williams until the end of 2025, Albon’s multi-year deal could potentially accommodate a move, especially if a team of Mercedes’ caliber comes calling.
The British-Thai driver, in the shape of his life, seeks to capitalize on the interest surrounding him. Williams, in the midst of rebuilding and heavy investment, may want to retain Albon as the cornerstone of their project.
However, the allure of joining Mercedes, a team contending for podiums and wins, adds another layer of complexity to Albon’s decision-making process. With at least three other teams expressing interest, the coming weeks promise intense deliberations for both Albon and Mercedes.
Fernando Alonso is a two-time Formula One world champion and he stands out as a seasoned option for Mercedes. Drawing parallels with Lawrence Stroll’s move at Aston Martin, Mercedes could replace one world champion with another.
Alonso’s contract with Aston Martin expires at the end of the year, making him a viable candidate for the vacant seat.
The Spaniard, operating at an incredible level into his 40s, has showcased his ability to fight at the sharp end with the right machinery.
While enjoying a rejuvenation at Aston Martin, the prospect of a Mercedes seat might prove too tempting for Alonso as he seeks to return to winning ways.
Daniel Ricciardo, previously linked to a move to Mercedes, resurfaces as another potential candidate. Currently contracted to Red Bull, the Australian driver’s return to consistent competitiveness remains uncertain after a disrupted 2023 season.
However, glimpses of his speed and skill, particularly in races like Mexico, reaffirm his capabilities. Ricciardo’s potential move would not only reunite him with George Russell but also provide Mercedes with a strong and experienced teammate for the young British driver.
The Australian’s positive relationship with Russell adds another dimension to the potential partnership, creating a formidable lineup for the Silver Arrows.
Esteban Ocon, a driver whose career has been managed by Mercedes, represents a known quantity for team principal Toto Wolff. Outperforming Fernando Alonso in their final season together at Alpine, Ocon showcased his competitiveness despite facing multiple retirements in 2023.
Toto Wolff could opt for familiarity by bringing in Ocon to partner with Russell. The French driver’s talents, well-known to the Mercedes team, could offer a seamless transition, ensuring stability alongside the promising young talent of George Russell.