In one of the most sensational F1 moves in the history of the sport, Lewis Hamilton has announced he is to leave Mercedes after twelve seasons and six titles to join Ferrari for 2025, pairing up with Charles Leclerc in red.
The news has shocked the world of motorsport however F1 is a fast paced environment and we now focus on who could replace the seven time World Champion.
In this feature, we will look at five drivers who surely will have their eye on one of the most coveted seats in motorsport.
The first most obvious driver to look at is Carlos Sainz, who surely must feel hard done by to be ousted out of Ferrari despite three fantastic seasons with the Scuderia.
Sainz has matched Leclerc during his time with Ferrari and will be hot property going into 2025. Rumours are also circulating at a tie up with Red Bull, returning to the manufacture after being a Red Bull junior earlier in his career, making his F1 debut alongside Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso.
Will we see a straight swap?
The next option Mercedes could turn to is former Mercedes Junior driver Esteban Ocon, who is still managed by Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff.
Esteban is a consistent driver, with one win to his name so far in his career, beating Sebastian Vettel in Hungary 2021.
Although a superb driver, some may argue he is not at the same level as the top line drivers in F1, however would this make him a fantastic number two for now team leader George Russell?
The third option is Williams’ Alex Albon, who was linked with the Ferrari seat for 2025 prior to Lewis Hamilton’s news.
Alex is a well liked driver up and down the paddock and has revitalised his career at Williams following his dismissal from the Red Bull team at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Although it has been confirmed that Albon is under contract up until the conclusion of the 2025 season, it is well known how friendly George and Alex are away from the circuit. Could this assist the Thai-Brit into one of F1’s most lucrative seats and tempt Mercedes to buy Williams out?
The fourth driver Mercedes could look at is Australian Oscar Piastri, who impressed hugely in his debut season with McLaren.
The 2022 F2 Champion became only the the third driver to win F3 and F2 titles back to back, before pushing compatriot Daniel Ricciardo out of McLaren following a year on the sidelines and an acrimonious split from Alpine midway through the 2021 season.
Oscar is one of F1’s true up and coming drivers, matching Lando Norris at many Grand Prix, as well as winning the Qatar sprint.
Would Mercedes make a move for the young Australian?
It couldn’t happen, could it?
Fernando Alonso has been linked with a Mercedes seat for as long as time itself, with the Spaniard showing no signs of slowing down despite supposedly being in the autumn of his career.
Alonso had a superb 2023, scoring multiple podiums for Aston Martin in his debut season with the team. However as the season went on, the results faded away as Aston Martin struggled to match the teams around them in the update race.
Will a similar 2024 test Alonso’s patience to a point he needs a change? There are rumours that his representatives have already made contact, could this become a reality sooner than we think?
That concludes my list, if there are any names you feel should be on the list, please comment on our socials!