Lewis Hamilton has struggled in the F1 since he lost a golden opportunity to win his eighth championship title. The Briton has not been able to convert his efforts into strong performances in the 2022 championship. The Silvers Arrows have struggled with their new car. And because of that, they have not been able to win a single race this season.
Even George Russell, the rookie driver for Mercedes has performed better than Hamilton with top 5 finishes in every race so far. Lewis is sixth on the drivers’ rankings 75 points behind the championship leader Max Verstappen while Russell is fourth. Therefore, if things continue to go downhill for the seven-time championship winner, Lewis Hamilton might consider giving up after the season. However, his contract with Mercedes ends at the end of 2023.
Thus, with uncertainty about how much time Hamilton has left in F1, the Dutch driver, Tom Coronel thinks that Toto Wolff has already made preparations to replace Lewis Hamilton if he decided to retire anytime soon. Although Mercedes might never think of replacing the Briton if his performance does not get better, they still have an option in front of them to be prepared for any unexpected situations in the coming future. Recently, Tom Coronel has suggested that the 2019 F2 champions and 2021 Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is Wolff’s choice to replace Hamilton if it would be needed. The 27-year-old also drove for Williams during the FP1 in Barcelona.
Is Nyck de Vries Capable To Fill In Hamilton’s Shoes
Coronel said that if Lewis decides to stop, Neyck de Vries could get his seat at Mercedes. The Dutch driver stated that he has been saying for about a year that Nyck is Toto Wolff’s insurance policy. The 50-year-old clarified that he did not want Nyck to replace Lewis Hamilton immediately. However, he thinks that the Mercedes team principal has a contingency plan for the upcoming future.
Further, Coronel pointed out how Wolff was left in a tricky situation after Nico Rosenberg decided to suddenly retire in 2016. Thus, he feels that Toto would want to avoid dealing with a similar situation yet again. Tom added, “I don’t want to say he uses Nyck, but that’s why he keeps him close.”
Moreover, Coronel thinks that Nyck has done everything he should have done and won all the championships he is supposed to in order to enter F1. De Vries is a renowned figure in Formula one. He has raced with F1 rising stars like Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, and George Russell. He also won the 2021 Formula E championship for Mercedes EQ. Tom further said that looking at the Dutchman’s record and what he is doing right now, Nyck has never lacked as compared to other drivers. Coronel added, “That’s exactly what you get.”
Thus, while Hamilton may not retire in the next couple of years, Nyck de Vries could be the next legendary driver for Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton decides to call it quits. Thus, Toto Wolff and the Silver Arrows seem to be prepared for the phase of change coming ahead in the future.