LEWIS HAMILTON’s switch to Ferrari is set to be confirmed within hours – leaving Mercedes with a vacant seat for 2025.
The seven-time world champion will end his 11-year spell with Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season.
Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of 2024Credit: Splash
He is set to join Charles Leclerc at Ferrari next term, with Carlos Sainz in line to leave the Italian team.
Mercedes now have to scout another driver to replace the F1 legend, with a few names already among the candidates.
SunSport looks at FIVE potential candidates who could replace him and partner George Russell in the Silver Arrows.
McLaren have sewn up Lando Norris to a new long-term contract that should (in theory) put him out of Mercedes’ reach. However, they are yet to tie down his teammate Pisatri, 22.
The Aussie has an excellent record and won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles before spending a year on the sidelines with Alpine and getting his chance in F1 with McLaren.
He impressed on his debut season last year and has the potential to be a world champion.
Oscar Piastri enjoyed an outstanding debut season in F1 last yearCredit: PA
The experienced driver’s future remains in doubt as he bides his time at Red Bull’s B-team.
Ricciardo would be low-hassel and offer some stability but by that time he would be 35.
It seems unlikely that they would opt for him at this point in his career, but if he has a good season this year, he could come into the reckoning.
Daniel Ricciardo replaced Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri midway through the 2023 seasonCredit: Getty
You may not have heard of the Italian, but he is mustard. Still only 17, he has won at all the junior categories and has been part of the Mercedes young driver programme since 2019.
This season he has been promoted from F4 to F2, where he has been tipped to shine.
A good debut season in F2 could sway Mercedes into taking a risk on him for 2025. Antonelli and his family are close to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
Toto Wolff is a huge fan of Kimi AntonelliCredit: Getty
Wolff has always been so incredibly supportive of Schumacher and spoken highly of him, that you’d at least expect him to come into consideration.
He knows the team from his role as reserve driver and consequently would get up to speed. But speed is also the problem.
He was shocking at Haas and if he really was THAT good, he’d still be driving in F1.
Mick Schumacher is currently Mercedes’ reserve driverCredit: Getty
A more-sensible choice would be the London-born Albon. A great guy who is also very quick.
He has a fantastic relationship with Russell and would be the low-maintenance quick partnership similar to Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas that swept to successive titles.
Albon would take little convincing to join from Williams and Mercedes would not need to pay him half of the £50million they were dishing out to Hamilton.
Alex Albon is also among the potential candidates