Mercedes are reportedly eyeing a surprise replacement for Lewis Hamilton if and when he retires, according to reports.
Mercedes’ team lineup for 2022 is Hamilton and George Russell. However, the seven-time world champion is 36 years of age, and will retire sooner than later. Russell is a great choice of driver, but the team will need another one in the future.
With obvious options at a premium or at other teams, plans cannot be made at the moment. However, the latter concern doesn’t seem to apply to the German team, as they are now considering a rather outlandish move.
According to express.co.uk, Mercedes are reportedly eyeing a surprise replacement for Hamilton if and when he retires, and that someone is Pierre Gasly.
This may seem impossible right off the bat given Gasly’s ties with fierce rivals Red Bull. However, it is to be noted that a way back into the senior team looks improbable for the Frenchman. He could make the switch to another top team, but their lineups are all confirmed for a year or two.
If Hamilton does end up retiring, the 2020 Italian GP winner could be in contention to partner Russell. As it stands, his contract will expire at the end of 2023. If Hamilton retires and Mercedes come calling, the driver will have a choice to make.
Of course, should Gasly get the much-touted Red Bull seat for a second time, then it could be tricky for Mercedes to land him.
However, the relationship between the driver and the Milton-Keynes outfit is currently at an impasse, giving the Silver Arrows the chance to be in the running for his services.
The ball is well and truly in Red Bull’s court. They will not want to lose Gasly, especially to a direct rival.