Toto Wolff has dream two-man shortlist to replace outgoing star Lewis Hamilton.

Toto Wolff has his work cut out trying to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

Toto Wolff currently has one of the most uneviable jobs in all of sport; replacing a living legend while they are still competing within their own storied discipline.

Lewis Hamilton will move to rivals Ferrari in 2025, and Wolff must secure the succession for Mercedes and keep the motor giants very much at the top of the F1 pyramid.

It’s no simple task, and the naysayers are already starting to voice their concerns with wild abandon. For Wolff and his vast experience, however, there have been some blueprints set down inside Mercedes HQ.

old has preferred candidates when it comes to replacing Hamilton, who will leave behind a huge void in the Mercedes garage.

Timing however appears to be the biggest challenger in play right now, given that the two men at the top of Wolff’s shortlist have recently dotted the line on fresh contracts.

Reports, via Racingnews, have emerged outlining that Wolff had shifted focus to priortise the career paths of both Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc, with a view to bringing one of the drivers over to the Mercedes empire.

Both drivers had been widely tipped touted as possible successors who Mercedes could sign when Hamilton decided to call time on his stint, although this was expected to be his full F1 retirement and not a switch to Ferrari to see out his career.

Now Mercedes must not only replace Hamilton, but also find a candidate who can fill his boots and beat him out on the track.

Wolff’s masterplan appears to have been undone with the decisiveness of Mercedes’ rivals, given both Norris and Leclerc agreed new long term deals in January.

McLaren and Ferrari respectively pulled out all the stops to get Norris and Leclerc committed to lucrative contracts, perhaps with the thought in mind that Hamilton had only penned a questionably short one-year extension with Mercedes.

Now, the nature of events dictate that Wolff’s dream partnership of Leclerc and Hamilton will now unfold in the red of Ferrari, while the prospect of prising Norris away from McLaren is now all but nonexistant.

Speaking this week on the possibility of taking a huge leap of faith and promoting a youngster into Hamilton’s seat, Wolff did not directly rule out the prospect of 17-year-old protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli emerging on the scene.

“When we decided with Lewis to go for a very short-term contract, we knew what we were doing,” Wolff told reporters during his midweek press conference after Hamilton’s confirmed departure.

“It was to leave him with options open and at the same time, there’s an exciting situation at the end of 2024 with some drivers becoming available, and others signed [new deals] just a few weeks ago, so these ones would have been opportunities.

“With the timing, if it had been six weeks earlier, there would have been more opportunities, but it is what it is.

But in 2025 and beyond, the driver market is very interesting, and we need to look to the future, and who is it that we can partner with George [Russell].

“What is the best combination, and I think in terms of drivers that could join, there is a variety of options, and at this stage, I wouldn’t want to commit to when we are going to do it as I want to take my time.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.