Daniel Ricciardo amongst candidates to alternative Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes after F1 bombshell

System One’s foolish season normally occurs in the course of the yr, however probably the most excessive stakes sport of musical chairs is perhaps over by the point the season begins.

Lewis Hamilton will transfer from Mercedes to Ferrari in 2025 in a shock transfer that may see him be a part of Charles Leclerc on the Scuderia, leaving Carlos Sainz with out a seat past this season.

The seven-time world champion will be a part of Ferrari on a multi-year deal, that means he can be racing into his forties as he eyes a recordbreaking eighth title.

The 2024 foolish season was anticipated to be probably the most chaotic ever, and whereas it nonetheless could possibly be, many drivers have locked their futures away within the pre-season.

Leclerc signed a multi-year take care of Ferrari past the 2024 season.

Lando Norris signed a multi-year contract extension with McLaren taking him past the 2025 season, shutting the door on a transfer to Crimson Bull.

His teammate Oscar Piastri is contracted with McLaren till the tip of 2026, giving the staff stability.

George Russell is signed with Mercedes till the tip of 2025, however Hamilton’s departure creates a gap for probably the most wanted seats on the grid.

So who’re the candidates to exchange Hamilton at Mercedes?

The plain candidate is Sainz, who might change locations with Hamilton in a easy swap.

“Following as we speak’s information, Scuderia Ferrari and myself will half methods on the finish of 2024,” Sainz stated in a press release following the announcement Hamilton could be taking his seat.

“We nonetheless have an extended season forward of us and, like at all times, I’ll give my very best for the staff and for the Tifosi all around the globe.

“Information about my future can be introduced sooner or later.”

The 29-year-old Spaniard has two wins beneath his belt and was the one non Crimson Bull driver to win a race final yr.

A transfer to every other staff like Williams, Aston Martin or Alpine could be disrespectful for a driver of his high quality.

Mercedes might go for an skilled hand like Fernando Alonso or Daniel Ricciardo, however that may be a brief time period resolution.

Alonso, 42, was on fireplace for Aston Martin firstly of final season and nonetheless has what it takes to problem for podiums and race wins.

Ricciardo has expertise on his facet and would possible want to exchange Sergio Perez at Crimson Bull if the Mexican struggles once more within the final yr of his contract.

The Athletic wrote: “Daniel Ricciardo is a little bit of a wild card for Mercedes.”

Ricciardo will drive for AlphaTauri, just lately renamed Visa Money App RB F1 staff, this season and has stated returning to Crimson Bull could be a fairytale technique to end his profession.

Different choices embrace former Crimson Bull discard Alex Albon, who has restored his status with Williams and could be on even footing with Russell given their related age.

A left subject possibility is 17-year-old prodigy Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who will make his System 2 debut this yr and will change Hamilton at 18 years of age if he drives properly.

Esteban Ocon is without doubt one of the extra underrated drivers on the grid and the Frenchman drove for Mercedes as a junior.

Then there’s the opportunity of Michael Schumacher’s son Mick Schumacher getting elevated to a Mercedes seat following two disappointing seasons with Haas. Mick is at present the reserve driver for Mercedes.

The F1 season begins on the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday March 2 Australian time.

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