Following the high of the turbo-hybrid era where Mercedes won eight back-to-back constructors’ championships, it is fair to say that the team is in the midst of a concerning period. The Silver Arrows have managed just one win over the past two seasons.
The team’s design has been largely at fault as their customer teams in Aston Martin and McLaren have shown far greater promise and improvement in the past two years.
Lewis Hamilton, who is now 39, represents Mercedes’ star driver. However, the Stevenage-born man has looked woefully out of his depth ever since the crushing nature of his 2021 defeat to Max Verstappen in the season finale.
As far as F1 expert Peter Windsor is concerned, Mercedes already has plans in place to replace Hamilton if he fails to hit his usual standards in the upcoming season.
Hamilton may have signed a contract that will see him at the Silver Arrows till the end of the 2025 season, but he is in the twilight of his career.
Hamilton has often spoken in the past about his interest in the entertainment industry and if he feels Mercedes doesn’t have the car to challenge Red Bull, it may not be entirely surprising to see him walk away from the sport and pursue an alternate career.
While Mercedes is believed to be working on a completely new challenger ahead of the upcoming season, it still remains to be seen if they will be able to make up the gap against Red Bull.
Windsor was speaking on his Live Chat where he addressed the repercussions of Mercedes’ slump and what it could mean in terms of Hamilton’s future.
“Lewis will probably leave if it’s another terrible year I would guess. Probably just say enough is enough,” said Windsor.
“I can’t imagine he’ll think, Oh wait till 26 now and get into a half electric Formula 1 car. I can’t imagine that’s attractive to Lewis Hamilton. So yeah, that could be a repercussion.”
Windsor believes that Mercedes could be eyeing up someone like Lando Norris to propel them in the future if they decide Hamilton is past his best.
“You’re going to see you know, somebody in there… Lando Norris or somebody like that at Mercedes, which would be interesting. So yeah those will be the repercussions. I don’t think they’ll pull out, but it’s an interesting moment though isn’t it,” he said.
While Alonso has shown that age is just a number through some eye-catching performances last season, one can’t help but feel that Hamilton has a very small window to capture an elusive eighth world championship.