Formula 1: Who Is Replacing Lewis Hamilton At Mercedes For 2025 And Beyond?

With Lewis Hamilton manufacturing one of the most shocking moves in the history of Formula One by signing with Ferrari, he has left a cliffhanger to be answered: Who is going to replace him at Mercedes in 2025 and beyond? We speculate for an answer

(AP Photo)
The seven-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton. (AP Photo)

After 13 years of partnership with AMG Mercedes Petronas, Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula One World Champion, is moving to Ferrari, the team everyone is a fan of (as Sebastian Vettel claims). Hamilton will be driving the Scuderia Ferrari car with Charles Leclerc in the 2025 F1 season, making Carlos Sainz a free agent. (More Motorsports News)

Predictions are easy; a free driver like Sainz and a vacant seat like Mercedes are meant to be the lock-and-key combination here. But is Sainz the only free agent who holds the calibre to drive a Mercedes car? No. Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Estaban Ocon, and Pierre Gasly are all fit for partnering George Russell in the W16 for 2025 and beyond. So, who is it going to be? 

While there is widespread debate and confusion around the question, pundits consider it obvious that Fernando Alonso is the clear choice to replace Lewis Hamilton.

The two-time world champion is currently locked in a contract with Aston Martin that has been extended till the end of 2025 F1 season, meaning that he is not free after 2024. But, he still is one of the greatest on the track, behind only a few in terms of world titles, wins and, world records. Incredible still, the Aston Martin driver will turn 43 (the oldest F1 driver in the paddocks) in the middle of the upcoming season!

Two-time F1 world champion, Fernando Alonso. (Photo: X|@Fernando Alonso)

The Brackley based team's hunt for the perfect partner for their 25-year-old driver, would end at the senior most driver, this is what the former F1 world champion, Jacques Villeneuve has stated to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Mercedes can't take another young like Russell" he said. And here comes another world champion, Jenson Button, weighing down Villeneuve's prediction. The former Brawn GP driver recently told SkyF1 "I would love to see Fernando Alonso" driving alongside the young Briton.

When the Silver Arrows were dominating in the turbo hybrid era, the Spaniard, inquisitive to drive the Mercedes car, offered to drive it for free. However, Bottas was chosen to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2017. Over the years, Alonso has been spotted under the shadow of the Mercedes paddock on multiple occasions.

But, his potential partnership with Hamilton never came to fruition. Now that the seven-time world champion is prepared to part ways with the German manufacturers after an 11-year collaboration, the opportunity for the 32-time Grand Prix winner to join the team has emerged.

Despite being 42, Alonso independently elevated Aston Martin from tenth to sixth place in the 2023 F1 season, finishing fourth, just behind Lewis Hamilton. If Mercedes has the opportunity to reunite the best driver with the best car once again, Fernando Alonso is unequivocally the ideal choice for them.

After all, the one reason why age isn't bothering the two-time world champion is his hunger for another F1 trophy. That, is what Mercedes could provide him. And that is enough for Fernando to ask to drive the German car for free, once again.

On the other hand, the debate is still far from over, as it does not overlook the comments made by the team's principal, Toto Wolff, following Hamilton's surprising switch to the Italian team. Wolff, in a meet with SkyF1, expressed that George Russell can become the primary driver for Mercedes.

Williams driver, Alex Albon. (Photo: X|@Alex Albon)

And, if Russell does takes over as the lead driver for AMG Mercedes Petronas team in 2025, then, perhaps, Alonso's candidature fails sine the Spaniard is unlikely to ever settle for a secondary role - not after the tempting offer from Aston Martin. This paves the way for Alex Albon, the highly sought-after current Williams driver, to join the most coveted team of Formula One, Mercedes.

Albon finished the 2023 F1 season at 14th position, which doesn't exactly attracts eyeballs at first glance. But, he outperformed Nicholas Latifi and Logan Sargeant with an impressive qualifying streak against his American teammate. This is a stunning progress and somewhat the same catalyst that moved Russell from Williams to Mercedes. James Vowles, who is now Williams principle, was once Mercedes's strategist, and he knows what to do.

Nevertheless, there are more candidates with the calibre to drive the most aniticipated W16 in 2025. This is one debate that will continue to rage on until the Silver Arrows have found their new archer.