Multiple F1 drivers are already vying for Lewis Hamilton’s seat at Mercedes as he prepares to make the move to Ferrari in 2025. Toto Wolff, the team principal, has been receiving messages from potential candidates interested in filling the vacancy left by Hamilton. This upcoming season will be the last for Hamilton and Mercedes before his sensational switch to Ferrari. The question now for Mercedes is who they will choose as a replacement for the most successful F1 driver in history. Wolff acknowledged that they have been exploring their options and may take a bold approach in their decision-making process.
Carlos Sainz, who will be replaced by Hamilton at Ferrari next year, now faces the task of finding a new drive for 2025. As the only non-Red Bull driver to win a grand prix last season, Sainz will undoubtedly be in high demand on the market. Mercedes could potentially opt for a younger talent like their promising prospect Kimi Antonelli as a replacement. Wolff emphasized that they are considering a wide range of possibilities, from young talents who could shape the future of the team to more experienced drivers with proven performance and knowledge. The next few months will be crucial in evaluating all the available options.
While Wolff contemplates the future of Mercedes’ driver line-up for 2025, he also has to navigate the challenges of the 2024 season. With the knowledge that Hamilton will soon depart, the team must find a way to close the gap to the dominant Red Bull team. Wolff acknowledged that catching up is difficult when regulations remain stable, but they are determined to improve their performance and lap times with drivers like George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Their focus is on the short and medium term goals of maximizing their potential.
Wolff shed light on the contractual clause that Hamilton activated, allowing him to leave for Ferrari in 2025 after signing a short-term deal last year. The team had agreed to this arrangement, understanding that it could potentially lead to a change in the driver line-up after two years. While the timing of the decision may have been unexpected, the team was aware of the possibility. Wolff acknowledged that a racing driver’s career eventually comes to an end, and for Hamilton, the desire for change and new experiences played a role in his decision. However, Mercedes has dealt with similar situations in the past and is fully committed to giving their all in the upcoming season. While they aim for success with their current drivers, they also have their sights set on the future beyond 2025 and 2026.
According to the Source formula1news.co.uk