Schumacher: Mercedes should target Vettel as Hamilton substitute!

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Ralf Schumacher says Mercedes should chase down Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel if Lewis Hamilton decides to ride off into the sunset ahead of the 2022 season.

On Thursday, the FIA said that it would publicly reveal the results – and likely the actions – of its comprehensive investigation into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on March 18, or on the opening day of running at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The belated deadline will force Hamilton to make a call on his future without knowing the contents or the repercussions of the governing body's report.

While the media have put a cloud of uncertainty over the Mercedes driver's immediate future in the sport, very few pundits believe that Hamilton will call it a day on his time in Formula 1.

But Schumacher isn't ruling out the possibility, even if the seven-time world champion is contractually committed to racing with Mercedes until the end of 2023.

However, contracts appear to be a secondary concern for Schumacher who believes that Mercedes - if Hamilton walks away at the last hour - should simply poach Vettel from Aston Martin and slot the German in Hamilton's seat.

"The experience that Sebastian has, the speed that he has, continues to be there," a bit of a far-out Schumacher told Sky Sport Germany.

"And above all, he knows his way around the Mercedes car - and with the engine. And I think the Aston Martin concept is also very close."

Schumacher reckons that Vettel would jump at an opportunity to join the Brackley squad, as any driver would, especially after losing his close ally at Aston, former team boss Otmar Szafbauer.

"That would be a possibility, especially since a personnel change has now also taken place at Aston Martin that may not be quite as ideal for Sebastian," added the six-time Grand Prix winner.

"Because I think he and Otmar Szafnauer - that was a good team.

"If he had the opportunity to get into this team, of course, he would take it one hundred percent because a better chance to race again - that's what Sebastian wants.

"He wants to win races, he showed that too."

Many chips would need to fall in place for Schumacher's rather outlandish hypotheses to play out, which the German himself admits.

"Lewis Hamilton has not left," he said. "And Toto Wolff has some other talents up his sleeve."

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