Report: German Publication Names Sebastian Vettel Top Candidate to Replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes F1

Published 01/14/2022, 3:08 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Second placed Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin and third placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes on the podium after the race Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga


There has been a massive level of uncertainty prevailing over the future of Lewis Hamilton in Formula One since the heartbreaking season finale in Abu Dhabi last year. The Yas Marina race triggered a flurry of rumors including the ones that suggested the Briton would retire from racing altogether well before the start of the 2022 campaign.

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Of course, Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, will be keen on talking Hamilton into extending his stay, but the Brackley outfit cannot invest their entire trust in the Briton at the moment.

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Aston Martin embraces Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes AMG Petronas in parc ferme after the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Hence, quite a lot of reports have claimed that Mercedes have already begun looking at other options in case Hamilton does end up leaving them hanging without a lead driver.

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His departure could also arrive at the worst possible time for Mercedes, as they chose to replace the experienced Valtteri Bottas with a fairly inexperienced George Russell. Hence, now, with Hamilton potentially departing, the Silver Arrows are under immense pressure to replace him with someone of his caliber.

Who is likely to replace Lewis Hamilton?

According to Motorsport, multiple sources affiliated with Bild and RTL have acknowledged that Mercedes are considering four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel as their top-priority replacement driver. To be clear, the German can only move to Mercedes if his former rival, Hamilton, bows out of F1.

Furthermore, there is also Vettel’s interest. Is he really keen on returning to a top-field team after the awful closure to his stint with Ferrari in 2020? Also, is he capable of handling the title pressure after spending over two seasons lurking in the mid-field and the bottom-field?

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Too many questions to answer. But, of course, it doesn’t really come as a shock that Mercedes are possibly interested in Vettel. They did indeed try to snatch him back in 2018 amid a favorable scenario.

However, the union turned out to be quite impractical as Ferrari were showing promising signs of winning a championship title in the coming years. With Vettel’s sole target being winning Ferrari a title, he couldn’t give up on it and signed a three-year contract extension.

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And well, we all know how the following three years panned out for the four-time world champion. So, amidst a rather awful stint, can Vettel manage to revive his racing career with a move to Mercedes?

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Rohit Kumar

1666 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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