Wolff Considers Carlos Sainz as Hamilton’s Replacement

Toto Wolff has shed some light on the prospective additions to the Silver Arrows squad alongside George Russell as the curtains close on Lewis Hamilton’s tenure at the end of this season, with Carlos Sainz emerging as a viable candidate.

The revelation surfaced earlier this year just ahead of the Bahrain season opener, heralding Hamilton’s forthcoming transition to Ferrari, culminating an illustrious 11-year stint with the team.

Throughout his tenure, Hamilton clinched six world championships, augmenting his inaugural title secured with McLaren, thus attaining parity with the esteemed Michael Schumacher at the zenith of motorsport.

Consequently, Sainz finds himself on the brink of relinquishing his position at the Italian outfit, poised to make way for Charles Leclerc’s collaboration with Hamilton in 2025. Consequently, the Spanish driver is currently scouting for a new team in the upcoming season.

Given Mercedes’ eminent stature in Formula One and the wider sporting realm, it is unsurprising that nearly every driver harbors a desire to align themselves with the team for the forthcoming campaign.

“Those who are available, or who could be interesting for us, all have arguments in their favor,” Wolff conceded. 

“Whether they are very young, whether they are very experienced in their best years… Or Carlos (Sainz).

“It’s a difficult choice. There are reasons to sign each one. I just want to take a step back and simply monitor the situation. Some of the guys mentioned can sign for other teams and that’s why, right now, I’m just looking at it.”

Sainz has recently clinched his third-ever Grand Prix victory, staging a remarkable comeback following an appendix surgery to triumph at Albert Park in Australia in a mere 16 days.

This accomplishment positions him as one of the rare drivers who have interrupted Max Verstappen’s unstoppable march towards multiple championship titles during Red Bull’s dominant reign over the past three years. Verstappen has clinched victory in 19 out of the last 21 races.

However, filling Hamilton’s formidable shoes presents a formidable challenge due to his towering presence in the sport. Consequently, Mercedes has explored various avenues to find a successor.

Speculations have circulated, linking promising talents like Andrea Kimi Antonelli, struggling Alpine driver Esteban Ocon, and former world champion Fernando Alonso with the coveted seat.

Among these contenders, Sainz boasts the most impressive credentials. Alonso is nearing his 43rd birthday, and Ocon’s solitary race triumph occurred three years ago, leaving Sainz as the standout candidate.

Antonelli presents an intriguing possibility; however, at just 17 years old, he lacks experience at the highest echelons of racing, making him more of a project for the long haul.

Considering this, Mercedes undoubtedly seeks immediate success, especially with Red Bull currently dominating the field, leaving the chasing pack increasingly marginalized. This places significant pressure on Wolff and his team to make the correct decision, as it could profoundly influence their future triumphs.

Apart from Antonelli, several other drivers are approaching the end of their contracts by the season’s conclusion, including Pierre Gasly, Sergio Perez, and Valtteri Bottas.