Lewis Hamilton reveals the Queen told him off at the Royal lunch
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Mercedes chief Toto Wolff will be on the lookout for a new driver when Lewis Hamilton finally decides to call time on his F1 career. The seven-time world champion is contracted to the Silver Arrows until the end of next year but, at the age of 37, will surely have one eye on his post F1 career. And Express Sport takes a look at four drivers who could replace him.
Aston Martin shocked the F1 world earlier this week when they announced that Fernando Alonso would take over from Sebastian Vettel from next season. Alonso has signed a multi-year contract with Aston Martin but would likely jump at the chance to join Mercedes when Hamilton quits.
The Spaniard won F1 world titles back in 2005 and 2006 and is set to move ahead of Kimi Raikkonen with the most Grand Prix appearances this year. Alonso looks as hungry as ever to succeed in F1 and could find himself in with a chance of landing a third world championship should the Silver Arrows come calling.
Red Bull ace Max Verstappen is the best F1 driver in the world at the moment and won his first world championship last year when he got the better of Hamilton at the season-decider in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman has since signed a new contract with the Austrian team worth £45million-a-year and is on course to win a second title this season as he tops the Drivers’ Championship standings by some way.
Mercedes weren’t competitive in the early races of this season but have improved in recent weeks. And if they’re serious about winning titles in the years to come, they may be tempted to make a move for Verstappen.
If Wolff wants to replace Hamilton with a current F1 driver, he may have more chance of landing Valtteri Bottas for a second time. Bottas was team-mates with Hamilton at Mercedes for five years before he was replaced by George Russell ahead of the 2022 season.
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During his time with the Silver Arrows, the Finn twice finished second in the Drivers’ Championship standings and finished third on another two occasions. And he helped Mercedes win the Constructors’ Championship every year he was with them.
Wolff could go for a left-field option when it comes to replacing Hamilton and could try to lure Nico Rosberg back to the track. Rosberg won the F1 world title in 2016 before deciding to retire from the sport. But he’s hinted about returning before and could pick up where he left off if the Silver Arrows gave him an opportunity to do so.
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