“Political” concern for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton replacement highlighted

Carlos Sainz is "world-class" yet Mercedes might not have "the right feel" to recruit him

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Race Day.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1,…

Mercedes may have a “political” reason not to opt for Carlos Sainz to replace Lewis Hamilton, Sky Sports experts have argued.

Hamilton’s confirmation that he will go to Ferrari in 2025 means that Sainz will be out of a drive.

Sainz is looking for a new seat next year - he finished on the podium last weekend in Bahrain, and was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a grand prix in 2023.

But Mercedes might not fancy employing him to replace Hamilton.

“He’s come from Ferrari,” explained Damon Hill on Sky Sports.

“Would Mercedes be comfortable taking someone who has been - not rejected - but passed over?

“Politically, that might not be so attractive for them.”

Martin Brundle added: “The problem is: if you are Mercedes-Benz, [Sainz] has been kicked out of Ferrari.

“Does it have the right feel to take, sort of, Ferrari’s cast-off…

“Even if it was for Lewis Hamilton. That’s the cruel aspect of this.

“I think the kid’s world-class and I think he’ll get a good seat.”

Instead, a different option has been recommended to Mercedes.

Ex-F1 champ Hill said: “I think Alex Albon would fit really well in that team.

“He’s mature, I think he’s got experience. He’s still young and quick.

“And I think that he’d fit in really well in that Mercedes team, and would understand the culture, and have a good relationship with George Russell, and be quick and be able to deliver points.”

Albon is contracted to Williams until the end of 2025.

He exclusively told us an amusing tale about his friend Russell foiling his plan to seek inside-information about Hamilton’s switch to Ferrari.

Sainz, meanwhile, continues to search for a new seat for 2025.

He is unlikely to be short of offers especially after a podium finish in Bahrain.

The uncertainty at Red Bull means a seat may open there, while Aston Martin could be an option if Fernando Alonso leaves.

Audi (currently running as Sauber, until 2026) have long been mentioned as a realistic landing spot for Sainz.

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