“Heavyweight” F1 signing tipped to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

Could this "heavyweight" F1 driver replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes?

(L to R): Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing; Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team; and Charles Leclerc (MON)
(L to R): Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing; Fernando Alonso (ESP)…

Williams driver Alex Albon has been tipped to be the “heavyweight” F1 signing Mercedes make as they look to replace Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

Hamilton’s shock move to Ferrari for next season was confirmed by both teams on Thursday evening.

It ends Hamilton’s long stint at Mercedes having joined the team in 2023.

Hamilton has won six of his seven titles with Mercedes and only signed a new multi-year deal in the summer.

With a seat alongside George Russell to fill, speculation is rife about who could replace Hamilton.

Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc all have long-term deals with their respective teams.

Outside of that, Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon and Albon are the early frontrunners.

Albon has impressed since leaving Red Bull with Russell-esque performances at Williams.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Craig Slater feels that the Thai driver would be a logical replacement.

"I think it’s worth mentioning that this perhaps explains why McLaren signed up Lando Norris a couple of weeks ago to a longer-term deal, and why Ferrari signed up Leclerc," Slater said.

"The other teams were aware that their prized assets might be a target for Mercedes, I think. They got wind of the fact that perhaps Lewis was going. It explains the Norris deal and the Leclerc deal. It’s hard to see who Mercedes will promote.

"Probably good news, this, for George Russell. He will become No1 in the team. Young Fred Vesti is their junior driver. He’s not ready for Formula 1. Mick Schumacher is their reserve driver. He didn’t have a great start to his F1 career. Might he be a stopgap? Alex Albon, for me, would be the heavyweight signing to replace Hamilton with.

"He’s at Williams, who are bossed by James Vowles who was Mercedes’ chief strategist, so there are links there. This will certainly create a ripple effect."

Slater believes that the timing of the news could have an adverse effect on both Mercedes and Ferrari with how their departing drivers could react when it comes to team orders or other situations.

"It will be an interesting year with Lewis knowing he is leaving Mercedes. How will the team deal with that?," he added. “Carlos Sainz at Ferrari - what does he owe them? They’ve replaced him with Hamilton!

"It will create a lot of storylines…"

Read More