Can Nico Hulkenberg Be Thrown in the Mix to Replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes F1?

Published 12/21/2021, 12:15 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 20, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is interviewed after finishing first place in qualifying REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool


Lewis Hamilton lost out on his 8th world title following a controversial call in the final laps of the Abu Dhabi GP. The Briton was furious with the developments during the Safety car period. He even called it “manipulated” over the team radio. A few days later, the Mercedes driver missed the FIA prize-giving ceremony; this is currently being investigated by the FIA as a possible violation of regulations.

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Notably, Hamilton made it clear in earlier statements that he will be around for a while. But there are speculations that the Abu Dhabi debacle might push him towards retirement. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently made a statement that further bolstered these claims. The Austrian said, “I really hope that Lewis will continue to race.”

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However, if the unthinkable happens, can Nico Hulkenberg be a viable option to replace Hamilton at the Silver Arrows.

Dive Deeper- Lewis Hamilton Retirement: Who Can Replace Him in a Hypothetical Situation for 2022 F1 Season

Is Hulkenberg a suitable alternate to Lewis Hamilton?

Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion. His are certainly not the easiest shoes to fill. His unprecedented dominance over the last eight years is something this sport hasn’t witnessed. George Russell has already taken the other Mercedes seat and Bottas has bid adieu to the Brackley team. In this scenario, Hulkenberg might be a plausible option to replace Hamilton.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 29: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Renault Sport F1 prepares to drive in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 29, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

German driver Nico Hulkenberg made his last appearance in the 2020 Eifel GP. He is currently serving as a reserve driver with the Aston Martin F1 team. If Hamilton retires this late after the season, Mercedes might have to take a bold call like calling Hulkenberg back in the F1 cockpit.

Other F1 teams have contractually exhausted all the other options like Esteban Ocon or Valtteri Bottas at least for the next season. In this scenario, Mercedes can promote test drivers like Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne to the top spot. However, with young George Russell already in place, they might look for a more experienced driver to replace the Briton.

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Hulkenberg has appeared in around 180 Grand Prix in his stint with F1 between 2010-20. The German, with his experience and expertise, can prove to be a lethal force on the grid. In the short term, he can be the right fit for the Mercedes.

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All speculations aside, fans expect Hamilton to make a return to the grid in the 2022 F1 season. Do you think he can clinch his eighth title next year?

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Rituraj Tripathi

269 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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