Lewis Hamilton

In Formula One’s topsy-turvy curve, speculations are endless. The latest entry to the ‘rumors club’ concerns the much-awaited replacement of Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion has signed a dream transfer with Ferrari. However, his recent performance has been questionable, as the champion racer has yet to finish a race ahead of his teammate George Rusell. Meanwhile, the Brit will leave a void at the Silver Arrows cockpit. 

The struggling Mercedes team is on the lookout for the potential replacement of their outgoing racer. Due to Red Bull’s internal mayhem, Max Verstappen’s name was getting associated with Mercedes. However, in a recent media interaction, the team boss, Toto Wolff, dismissed all the speculations of a discussion with Verstappen and CO. Thus, the question arises: who’ll replace Lewis Hamilton?


Is Valtteri Bottas The Perfect ‘Stop-Gap’ Driver For Mercedes?

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Since Wolff brushes off the rumors of Max Verstappen, the next potential candidate is Valtteri Bottas. The ex-Mercedes driver is currently with Sauber. However, the 34-year-old driver’s F1 future looks dubious as Sauber has signed Nico Hulkenberg. The team, poised to become Audi, has also offered Carlos Sainz a seat in their set-up. Thus, Valtteri Bottas could be the perfect option for Mercedes. Bottas claimed ten victories between 2017 and 2021 during his stint with the Brackley squad. However, Bottas might get a ‘short contract’ as the young Italian racer, Kimi Antonelli, is on the team’s long-term plan.  

Moreover, the ground-effect concept has been a problem for the Silver outfit. At the same time, their technical team is struggling to tackle the aerodynamic issue. During the latest Chinese GP, W15 experienced an underlying balance issue. Apparently, the balance issue made the long, high-speed corners a hurdle for their drivers. Therefore, apart from replacing Lewis Hamilton, the team wants to replace its fortune. 

Kimi Antonelli Might Be The Next Big Thing For Mercedes, But Is He Ready? 

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However, the Mercedes set-up is investing in the young Italian prodigy Kimi Antonelli. Recently, the driver was behind the wheels of W12, a Mercedes project from 2022. He enjoyed his time despite a snowfall on day one. Despite his racing talent, the FIA press conference host, Tom Clarkson, feels Kimi needs more time on the F1 circuit. The Italian racer will turn 18 in August, making him eligible for the Dutch GP. However, the racer is more likely to replace Logan Sargeant at Williams before getting a call-up from Mercedes. 

Clarkson explained that although the FIA might not allow dispensation from Verstappen’s Law, Kimi can still start his F1 career ahead of the next season. Thus, Williams could be the option for Kimi to kickstart his career. Meanwhile, until the Italian teenager gets some experience, Mercedes could hire Valtteri Bottas for a one-year ‘stop-gap.’ With so many expectations hovering around Kimi, Mercedes will closely monitor the racing prodigy.