Formula 1: 5 possible replacements for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

In a shocking move, Lewis Hamilton is set to move from Mercedes to Ferrari for the 2025 Formula 1 season. Who are the favorites to replace him?
Formula 1
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On the day of the Transfer Deadline in the world of soccer, it was Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari stealing the spotlight across the world, with the seven-time Formula 1 world champion joining the Italian team for 2025 and beyond.

It had been reported on extensively late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with Will Buxton first putting out a cryptic tweet hinting at "something massive" potentially happening, before Sky Sports F1 confirmed Thursday morning that Mercedes held a meeting with their staff to inform them of the Briton's departure at the end of the upcoming season. The deal was officially confirmed Thursday afternoon by Ferrari themselves.

During Hamilton's time at Mercedes, which is set to continue for another 24 races this season, he has amassed 82 race victories, 77 pole positions, 148 podium finishes, and six world championships.

Like the famous "Shohei Ohtani Watch" that went on in the world of baseball in 2023, or the "Kawhi Leonard Watch" in Toronto after the Raptors won the NBA title in 2019, suddenly fans, media, and even some of the drivers found themselves scrolling twitter endlessly, waiting for official confirmation from Hamilton, Ferrari, or Mercedes.

With so many drivers not having contracts for 2025, the biggest driver transfer in Formula 1 history will blow the market wide open. The big question: who will replace Hamilton at Mercedes? Here are five possibilities.

Potential Lewis Hamilton replacements: No.1 - Carlos Sainz Jr.

Through all the excitement of Lewis Hamilton signing with Ferrari, it seems that everyone has forgotten about Carlos Sainz Jr. With Hamilton joining and Charles Leclerc already having signed a multi-year extension with the team, Sainz is out for 2025.

While being replaced by another driver at the famous Ferrari team is always met with a massive spotlight and may feel humiliating, his departure from the red team is not a telling of his talent. After all, Sainz was the only non-Red Bull race winner in 2023, winning the Singapore Grand Prix. He has shown throughout his three seasons at Ferrari that he is perfectly capable of matching and beating one of the top talents on the grid in the same machinery.

With that in mind, there is little doubt that he will remain on the grid. The question is, with whom will he ultimately sign?

For months now, the two-time race winner has been linked to Audi for when they officially take over the team now known as Sauber in 2026. But following the sudden news of him being out at Ferrari, other doors have undoubtedly opened for him, possibly even at Mercedes.

In addition to Mercedes being an obvious choice for Sainz, given the fact that they are easily the most competitive team with a seat available, he also fits the criteria that the team will be looking for: a fast, experienced, dependable talent who can push new team leader George Russell.

Plus, with Sainz having been a direct Mercedes competitor for the last few seasons, he could also help the team address some of their shortcomings in recent years, based on what he has seen from the close perimeters, and maybe even spill some beans on what Ferrari have been doing to gain advantages.