There has been a massive level of uncertainty prevailing over the future of Lewis Hamilton in Formula One since the awful season finale in Abu Dhabi last year. The Yas Marina race triggered a flurry of rumors including the ones that suggested the Briton would retire from racing altogether well before the start of the 2022 campaign.
Of course, Mercedes’s team principal, Toto Wolff, will be keen on talking Hamilton into extending his stay, but the Brackley outfit cannot invest their entire trust in the Briton at the moment.
Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Aston Martin embraces Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes AMG Petronas in parc ferme after the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Hence, quite a lot of reports have claimed that Mercedes have already begun looking at other options in case Hamilton does end up leaving them hanging without a lead driver.
His departure could also arrive at the worst possible time for Mercedes, as only days back, they chose to replace experienced Valtteri Bottas with a fairly new George Russell. Hence, now, with Hamilton, too, potentially departing, the Silver Arrows are under immense pressure to replace him with someone of his caliber.
Who is likely to replace Lewis Hamilton?
According to Motorsport, multiple sources affiliated with Bild and RTL have acknowledged that Mercedes are considering four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, as their top-priority replacement driver. To be clear, the German can only move to Mercedes if his former rival, Hamilton, bows out of F1.
Furthermore, there is also Vettel’s interest. Is he really keen on returning to a top-field team after the awful closure stint with Ferrari in 2020? Also, is he capable of handling the title pressure after spending over two seasons lurking in the mid-field and the bottom-field?
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS
Too many questions to answer. But, of course, it doesn’t really come as a shock that Mercedes are possibly interested in Vettel. They did indeed try to snatch him back in 2018 amid a favorable scenario.
However, the union turned out to be quite impractical as Ferrari, then, were showing promising signs of winning a championship title in the coming years. Hence, with Vettel’s sole target being winning Ferrari a title, he couldn’t give up on it just yet and signed a whopping three-year contract extension.
And well, we all know how the following three years panned out for the four-time world champion. So, amidst a rather awful stint, can Vettel manage to revive his racing career with a move to Mercedes?
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