Hamilton Names Driver That Should Replace Him At Mercedes

Friday, 17 May 2024 at 09:48
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Lewis Hamilton (the seven-time World Champion) named the driver he would put in his seat at Mercedes once he departs the team.
Lewis Hamilton will be leaving Mercedes after the end of the 2024 season, and while it is clear where he will go, it is still unclear who he will be replaced with.
The 39-year-old has played a massive role in the team for 12 seasons (including 2024), and the team principal, Toto Wolff, is facing a big challenge trying to find a substitute for Hamilton.
Since the start of the season, the five most discussed alternatives for the team were Alex Albon, Fernando Alonso, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Max Verstappen, and Carlos Sainz.
As we know, Alonso and Albon have signed contract extensions with their teams in the meantime (and it also became clear that Albon already had a contract for 2025), so only three drivers remain.
At this moment, Max Verstappen seems more like Wolff's wish than a realistic option. The 26-year-old keeps repeating to the media that he is happy with his team and doesn't plan to leave soon.
That leaves Wolff with Kimi Antonelli or Sainz. There is also Esteban Ocon, but for some reason, he isn't talked about as much as the others.
If the team principal of Silver Arrows decides to go for Sainz, he can be sure he will have an experienced, fast, and consistent driver in the Spaniard.
Antonelli would be more like an investment in the future. He has no experience but huge potential. Wolff sees him as Verstappen of the future, and that is why he is keen on putting him in F1 as soon as possible.
What does the seven-time World Champion think about all this? He told the media at Imola Circuit ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix:

"I think Carlos [Sainz] is a great driver, so I think wherever he goes, I think he would be a positive for any team."

"Honestly, I have no idea what Toto's plans are, but I think for me, taking on the youngster. If it were my job, my role, I would take on Kimi [Andrea Antonelli]."

Hamilton would rather give a chance to young talent than the driver he will be replacing at the team from Maranello. Who would you rather see in Mercedes' seat?