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Sebastian Vettel Open to Replacing Hamilton At Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel comments on Hamilton’s move to Ferrari and Mercedes faces a crisis as new rumours on who’s going to replace Lewis increase.

7 times World Champion Lewis Hamilton will say his goodbyes to the German team at the end of the 2024 season. His new colour, after 11 years, will be the burning red of Scuderia Ferrari. It was a shock to the world of F1 and different personalities in motorsports commented on it.

Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton’s historical rival and four times World Champion with Red Bull is one of the latest to talk on Hamilton’s move. He admitted to understanding Lewis Hamilton’s choice. In an interview with Sky Sports News, Vettel commented again on the matter:

“He’s looking for a new challenge. It will be different to see him in red”.

“I think it’s about the team anywhere you go. It is a team sport and Lewis has said that over and over again, thanking the team around him. Without Mercedes, Lewis’ career would’ve been very different and mine too. But that’s how it goes, no regrets”.

On Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, he said:

“If he’s excited, that’s the main thing. It was ultimately his decision, he took it for himself. So best of luck”. He then added, “I know the team in Ferrari. For us outside the measure it’s always if you’re successful or not, but the real measure is whether Lewis is happy or not”.

After years of fighting against Ferrari, Hamilton will occupy Carlos Sainz’s seat, the one that previously belonged to Sebastian Vettel himself. The German left the Scuderia in 2020 to join Aston Martin before he decided to retire from F1 in 2022.

But who’s going to replace Hamilton?

Mercedes is struggling this season, both in and outside the track. The spirits are low in the Silver Arrows’ team after three races with disappointing results, especially the double DNF in Melbourne. Lewis Hamilton is currently P10 in the standings, with only 8 points. Slightly better is George Russell’s P7 and 18 points.

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It seems that Toto Wolff decided to fly to Suzuka with the intent to give his full support to the team, according to Sky Sports UK. The Team Principal was initially supposed to follow the race remotely but then decided differently given the situation.

Moreover, Hamilton is not the only one to leave  Mercedes at the end of the season, but also Jerome D’Ambrosio. Currently, he’s the head of the Mercedes Junior Team and, according to many, the most obvious candidate to replace Wolff in the future. But it seems that things will go differently, with D’Ambriosio following Hamilton in Ferrari as the Manager of Ferrari Driver Academy.

The lack of a replacement for Lewis Hamilton’s seat is a cause of concern for Mercedes and the speculations are increasing.

One of the candidates is the current World Champion Max Verstappen, according to rumours. At the beginning of the race week in Japan, a voice came out about over 90% of Mercedes employees wanting Max Verstappen as their driver. Apparently, the group wants the Dutchman to be its ambassador, offering him a long-term contract. A role that Lewis Hamilton aspired to have.

Another candidate is the young F2 Italian driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli, part of the Mercedes Academy. But other names are Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz and now Sebastian Vettel too.
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Back in Formula 1 wearing Mercedes Star?

Sebastian Vettel himself confirmed to be in touch with Toto Wolff, and other people in the paddock as well. With Wolff, he exchanged a couple of texts, the German driver said.  The four-time World Champion has recently taken part in an endurance test with Porsche and acknowledged that he could potentially come back in Formula 1.

During the media day at the Japanese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton said that his long-time rival and friend could be a good option for Mercedes.

“I would love for Seb to come back. I think he would be an amazing option for the team to have a multi-World Championship-winning driver. Someone who’s got amazing values to continue to take this team forward”.

Hamilton has still more years to go in F1, this time wearing the Cavallino. But, he confirmed that once he says his goodbyes to the sport, it will be final.

Even George Russell and Toto Wolff said their opinion on Sebastian Vettel’s comeback in Formula 1 with Mercedes. Russell explained that he will be ready to face a new challenge. Whether it will be a rookie or a world champion, he and the team will welcome their new addition.
“[Sebastian Vettel] is never a name you can discount and say ‘no, it’s not for us’, it needs to be part of any discussions going forward”. – Said Toto  Wolff.


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