Could Max Verstappen or Fernando Alonso stunningly replace Lewis Hamilton?

Toto Wolff was quizzed about Max Verstappen or Fernando Alonso stepping into Lewis Hamilton's place

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton

Toto Wolff did not rule out seeing Max Verstappen or Fernando Alonso in a Mercedes, in Lewis Hamilton’s place.

Hamilton’s switch to Ferrari for the F1 2025 season has left his current team with a gigantic hole to fill.

Mercedes’ desire to recruit the best possible driver will be somewhat limited by the big-money contracts that exist elsewhere, for example Lando Norris with McLaren and Charles Leclerc with Ferrari.

Wolff was asked if a sensational move for Verstappen or Alonso could materialise.

"48 hours ago, I wouldn't have thought that Lewis would tell me that he was going to drive for Ferrari next year,” he replied on Friday to Motorsport-Magazin.

“That's why I wouldn't rule anything out in Formula 1.

“Drivers make decisions about whether or not to ride for a team. It depends on the circumstances.

“And if at some point a driver says he doesn't want to drive anymore, there is little remedy for it. That's why I wouldn't rule anything out, no one at any time.

"We will always strive to have the best possible driver combination in our car and look for each and every one of these conversations.

“You can see how quickly a situation can change. At the same time, of course, we respect contracts that exist.

“Drivers will always want to sit in the fastest car.

“I think now it's up to us to demonstrate that we can build the fastest car. Not only in the short and medium term, but also in the long term, especially in the new regulations. That creates opportunities, but the ball is in our court.

"I'm looking forward to making the right decisions together with my colleagues about who will be in this cockpit next year.

"Maybe this is the chance to do something brave. Contracts are only good as long as the driver or the team wants to race together.”

Alonso’s current deal with Aston Martin is due to expire at the end of this season, making him a plausible candidate.

But he will be 43 next year, making him the only current F1 driver older than Hamilton.

Verstappen, meanwhile, is contracted to Red Bull until 2028.

He will challenge for a fourth consecutive F1 championship this year and his partnership with Red Bull shows no sign of slowing down.

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