Who will replace Hamilton at Mercedes? Here are 9 candidates


Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari for 2025, confirmed on Thursday, gives Mercedes plenty of time to replace him but the big question is who will step into the shoes of the most successful driver of all time?

More than half of the current starting grid will be out of contract at the end of the season but inevitably some stand out more than others.

Several potential candidates are not even in Formula One at present and look like long-shots, but Formula One is never short of surprises.

The following looks at the possible options for Mercedes and the questions raised.


The Spaniard whose place has been taken by Hamilton would be a straight swap. He has, however, been considered a top target for Audi, who are taking over Sauber and entering as a works team in 2026. He would be the likely number one there, and Audi have strong connections with his father who won last month's Dakar Rally with them. Would either he or Mercedes want to do a deal for one year or would he be open to a longer one?


The ex-Red Bull driver has been a big hit with Mercedes-powered Williams, scoring all but one of their points last season and hauling them up to seventh overall. Williams are run by James Vowles, who was previously a close confidant of Mercedes principal Toto Wolff as that team's head of motorsport strategy. A deal for Albon, an old friend and rival of George Russell who also graduated from Williams, would surely be straightforward.


The 17-year-old Italian is yet to debut in Formula Two but is considered a big talent for the future and already under contract with Mercedes. If not ready for the former champions, he might be offered to Williams to get experience.


Another driver facing an uncertain future post-2024 is Sergio Perez, whose contract with Red Bull is set to expire with the season's end. A contract renewal seems doubtful, especially considering the performance disparity with his teammate, Max Verstappen, during the previous year.

Last year, there was speculation that the Mexican driver might consider retiring after his stint with Red Bull. However, if he chooses to continue beyond this year, marking his 14th consecutive season he might reach out to Wolff at Mercedes.


Norris, yet to taste victory in Formula 1, is one of the fastest on the track. He could be a potential candidate for Wolff and Mercedes to consider as a successor to Hamilton, preserving the British legacy within the team. 

Norris has just committed his future to McLaren by signing a fresh long-term contract last week, which will see him remain with the orange-clad team past 2025 and into the forthcoming regulatory transformation phase, meaning securing him would come at a significant cost.


Michael Schumacher's son is the official reserve. His seasons with Haas were difficult and he is now on the roster of endurance drivers with Renault-owned Alpine. Michael raced for the team, his place taken by Hamilton in 2013, but Mick looks a long shot compared to other options.


A Mercedes-backed junior driver and reserve and preparing for his eighth season in F1 and fifth with Renault/Alpine. The team rated him very highly but he may have slipped down the list of options by now.


Hamilton's teammate before Russell replaced the Finn, who will be out of contract at Sauber at the end of the year and whose place could go to Sainz. He knows all the people at Mercedes but a return would surely be unlikely.


The evergreen double world champion is out of contract at Aston Martin at the end of the year but showing no sign of wanting to stop and still looking highly competitive.



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