While Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 future remains uncertain, Mercedes is working on a hypothetical ‘plan B’ to replace the seven-time F1 World Champion – TJ13 can reveal that it is two Frenchmen would be ideally placed.
Lewis Hamilton, who is still clearly affected by the end of the season and the loss of the World Championship title to Max Verstappen on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, is reportedly questioning his future in Formula 1.
We all fluctuate in our emotions and especially Lewis is a driver prone to this. He had won the world championship until the last lap, then it was all taken away from him in the last second in a similar manner to how Lewis took the title away from Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in 2008.
“Of course, you lose faith because you can’t understand what has just happened,” said Toto Wolff recently, leaving the future of the seven-time world champion in doubt.
For his part, Alain Prost did not hide his concern on this subject in the columns of the JDD, reported on by this website earlier in the week.
“He surely has as many reasons to stop as to continue. He has taken a big blow to the head mentally, but it would be really sad if he wasn’t here this season,” explained the four-time French world champion.
According to the latest rumours in the press, Gasly the priority. For TJ13, it is actually Esteban Ocon in the hot seat.
A situation that is pushing Mercedes to work on a plan B. Indeed, the German team could well start the season with a brand new pair of drivers, as George Russell has already replaced Valtteri Bottas, and Lewis Hamilton could therefore free up the most coveted seat in F1.
According to The Express, Toto Wolff’s priority is to attract Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman is coming off a magnificent season with AlphaTauri and has proved his speed in qualifying. His performances have made him ambitious and after a failed stint with Red Bull, he hopes to quickly get his chance with a top team. TJ13 believes this to be not a viable option.
One of many obstacles is Red Bull. Indeed, Pierre Gasly, who comes from the Red Bull driver program, is under contract with the Austrian Alpha Tauri Red Bull junior team until 2023, and it is unlikely that management gift Gasly to Mercedes. After all, by replacing Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly would become Max Verstappen’s main rival in the title race.
This website understands that Mercedes is seriously considering the other French driver in the paddock: Esteban Ocon.
It must be said that the latter is still contractually linked to Mercedes and has the advantage of knowing the German team perfectly, having been its reserve driver in 2019. All the more so as with the young Oscar Piastri, Formula 2 champion, Alpine already seems to have the successor to Esteban Ocon.