driver Ralf Schumacher
stated he believes Carlos Sainz
Jr. will not be the one to replace Lewis Hamilton
With Lewis Hamilton leaving his team at the end of the 2024 season
, Mercedes has one empty seat to fill. The question is, which driver will be given a chance to replace the 39-year-old?
One fortunate thing about the seven-time World Champion's timing for exit is that quite a few drivers will be looking for a new contract
at the end of the upcoming season, so Mercedes has many options to choose from.
Ralf Schumacher has a nephew - Mick Schumacher, who is currently a reserve driver at Mercedes and could get a chance to show what he's got. Asked about what kind of a driver Mercedes will be looking for to fill the gap, the former F1 driver told Sky Sports
"That is a good question. I think Toto Wolff is clever enough; he always likes to have young guys. Now, Russell is strong enough to lead the team, so I think it's time for him to get a new driver on board."
One of these drivers in the mix is also Carlos Sainz, who is said to have a good relationship with Toto Wolff, but Schumacher asserted he believes the Spaniard will not be an option for Mercedes.
"I mean, there is obviously some other drivers around - Carlos Sainz, but I think he will end up in Audi eventually. So that's really not an option."
On the other hand, Audi
will be entering F1 in 2026, and it is not expected to compete for the Championship title in a couple of its first seasons, so Sainz might be better off in some other team in the meantime.
Regarding his nephew, Ralf Schumacher said the Mercedes team principal could give him a shot, but Wolff still has a year left to make the crucial decision.
"And yeah, he still has a really young driver in his contract that we have to wait and see how he develops. At the moment, Mick, for sure can have a chance, but they still have time."