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Five contenders to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes when he retires, from Norris joining Russell to shock Botta’s return

LEWIS HAMILTON’s continued silence since the controversial end of the F1 season at the Abu Dhabi GP has sparked new speculation that the Briton might ..

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Five contenders to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes when he retires, from Norris joining Russell to shock Botta's return

LEWIS HAMILTON’s continued silence since the controversial end of the F1 season at the Abu Dhabi GP has sparked new speculation that the Briton might give up.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said his star driver was “disillusioned” with the end of the race when Max Verstappen was crowned world champion with his victory.

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Lewis Hamilton has yet to take his future seriouslyCredit: Alamy

Hamilton claimed the result was tampered with because race director Michael Masi did not follow the correct rules regarding the safety car.

Here SunSport is looking at the possible replacement if Hamilton decides to leave Formula 1.

LANDO NORRIS

The standout performer last year behind Hamilton and Verstappen.

The Brit has a very bright future in Formula 1 and would take the chance to join George Russell at Mercedes as the two are friends.

However, Norris has just signed a new contract with McLaren that would not allow him to leave the ship without compensation from Mercedes.



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Lando Norris recently signed a new deal with McLarenPhoto credit: Getty

ESTEBAN OCON

Like Russell, the French was a Mercedes up-and-coming driver, but he still has close ties to Wolff.

Like Norris, he is under contract with Alpine, but would also like to return to the Silver Arrows.

Ocon’s advantage is that he knows the team and they know him so they’d be up to speed quickly.



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Esteban Ocon is a former young Mercedes driverCredit: Alamy

NICO HULKENBERG

After working for Renault and Force India, the German has a lot of F1 experience and has proven to be the ideal super submarine.

Hülkenberg stepped in when Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll both tested positive for Covid in 2020.

Last year he was reserve and development driver for the Aston Martin F1 team, but unlike Ocon and Norris, he would be under contract as a free agent.



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Nico Hülkenberg had positions at Renault and Force IndiaPhoto credit: PA

NYCK DE VRIES

The Mercedes Formula E world champion has tons of skills but couldn’t find a place in Formula 1 after winning the F2 title in 2019.

He has done excellently in the FE but always longed for an opportunity to race in F1.

The Dutchman, 26, has been to noticeably more GPs with Mercedes and would be the smartest option given he’s already on the payroll.



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Nyck de Vries drives for the Mercedes Formula E teamCredit: Alamy

VALTTERI BOTTAS

Total loss, but no driver knows Mercedes better than the Finn who is now switching to Alfa Romeo.

He’s moved on, but without the prospect of facing Hamilton, he might be tempted to jump back to claim the title.

He went on good terms and would probably be a good teammate for Russell too, but would Merc take a step back?



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Valtteri Bottas has been Hamilton’s team-mate since 2017Photo credit: Getty