Akshita Patel

EXPLAINED: How Lewis Hamilton’s Departure Has Left Mercedes Boss In Deep Dilemma For 2024 Season?

Lewis Hamilton will enter this 12th and final season with Mercedes this year. He will leave the Barckley-based outfit at the end of the season to move to Maranello to drive for Ferrari. While Lewis is set to tick off a major buck list item, Silver Arrows team principal Toto Wolff is left at Barckley to pick up the pieces.

Toto Wolff, at the end of the 2023 season, firmly believed in having Lewis Hamilton’s services till the end of the 2025 season. However, his world turned upside down over the winter as he would now have to watch Lewis leave by the end of the season. That being said, Hamilton’s departure will leave Toto with a lot of unanswered questions, which he has to figure out by treating the upcoming season as a trial run.

   

Will Toto Wolff Prioritise George Russell Over Lewis Hamilton In 2024 F1 Season?

Mercedes
Credit: PlanetF1

Lewis Hamilton has left Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff in a fix. The Austrian will be left without a leader as George Russell’s F1 career is just five years old. On the other hand, Hamilton has been in the sport since 2008 and is a seven-time world champion. While Wolff plans on pushing Russell as Lewis’s successor, it’s not realistically possible to find Briton’s replacement. So where does Wolff go from here? For instance, he has promised to treat both drivers equally for the 2024 season despite Hamilton’s contract situation. Another option for Toto Wolff is to let George Russell call the shots on W15 development.

That’s because Kimi Antonelli is being touted as a preferred replacement for Lewis, and Kimi has barely driven in F2. Thus, Russell has to be the one guiding the engineers with respect to package development from 2025 onwards. But then again, if he does that, he would lose Lewis Hamilton’s valued expertise in car development. The dilemma is more complicated than Wolff already estimates. That being said, the Mercedes team principal has been in the business for over a decade. He is a tough boss and would never shy away from prioritizing his team’s best interests. If that takes upsetting Hamilton, so be it. Overall, tensions are expected to flare inside the Brackley garage in the upcoming season as Toto Wolff navigates his way through uncertainties.

Will Kimi Antonelli Replace Lewis Hamilton At Mercedes?

Andrea Kimi Antonelli F2
Andrea Kimi Antonelli F2 Source: FIA Formula 2

Lewis Hamilton is already prepping for the Ferrari switch, leaving principal Toto Wolff in dismay. He is still scratching his head over a potential replacement. That being said, as per media reports, Wolff is contemplating promoting the F2 phenomena Kimi Antonelli. Kimi is being touted as the next Max Verstappen in the making.

However, the rookie lacks the necessary experience to replace seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in a prized Mercedes seat. On the contrary, Wolff has a plan B, which is to sign Fernando Alonso. The 42-year-old is a perfect like-for-like replacement for Hamilton as he has a championship-winning experience. It would be interesting to see who Wolff chooses at the end of the 2024 season.

Stay tuned to Sports News International for more such news and updates about Mercedes and your favorite F1 team.