The Formula One silly season kicked off with the driver swap of the century. Lewis Hamilton ditched Mercedes after 11 years to join Ferrari after the 2024 season. The move left the F1 community in utter disbelief. Just five months ago, Lewis signed a two-year extension contract with Silver Arrows.
However, tables turned over the winter break as Ferrari part owner John Elkann staged a coup. Having said that, Lewis Hamilton’s move has vacated a seat at Mercedes. And left Carlos Sainz without a seat for the 2025 season. Amid speculations, former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson made bold predictions on upcoming driver swaps as silly season peaks.
Alex Albon, Carlos Sainz, Or Fernando Alonso, Who Will Replace Hamilton In Mercedes?
The F1 silly season has officially kicked off with Lewis Hamilton’s sensational move to Ferrari for the 2025 season. However, former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson anticipates more shocking moves on the cards. He expressed two scenarios wherein two drivers will move to different teams after the 2024 season. In the first scenario, Marcus expects Alex Albon to succeed Hamilton at Mercedes. And Carlos Sainz is heading to Sauber ahead of the Audi takeover in 2026. Interestingly, Sainz has been linked to Audi for a while now. Also, Ericsson predicts Daniel Ricciardo to move to Red Bull for a final stint. Subsequently, Sergio Perez could land at Williams with Silver Arrows junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli.
Meanwhile, in another scenario, Marcus Ericsson expects Fernando Alonso to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. It’s important to note that Alonso and Aston Martin have had some friction this past season. Thus, this move could likely take place in the near future. However, interestingly, Ericsson predicted Carlos Sainz to reunite with Red Bull in the second scenario, with Alex Albon heading to Audi. Sainz’s reunion with Red Bull seems a far-fetched dream for now. Red Bull senior Helmut Marko earlier hinted how Sainz and Max Verstappen didn’t get along in the past. However, on the flip side, Albon’s move to Audi could be highly plausible. Albon has proved himself to be capable of winning in a competitive car. Thus, top teams are likely to pursue him after the 2024 season.
Toto Wolff Addresses Speculation Of Sebastian Vettel’s Return In F1
Meanwhile, the rumor mill has churned out a wild theory with regard to Lewis Hamilton’s replacement at Mercedes. A rumor suggested that Sebastian Vettel could come out of retirement to replace Lewis Hamilton at Silver Arrows. However, team principal Toto Wolff shut down the speculations before it gained momentum.
In an interview, Toto Wolff said that Vettel has made his intentions clear of not wanting to race anymore. However, Wolff did confirm being in touch with the former German driver. But their talks mostly revolve around the world outside Formula One. Wolff asserted that Sebastian Vettel won’t return to the sport, let alone for Mercedes. Regardless, the Silver Arrows have a daunting task to find Lewis Hamilton’s successor who could possibly match his GOAT stature in motorsports.
Stay tuned to Sports News International for more such news and updates about Mercedes and your favorite F1 team.