Former Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan believes that Mercedes have to be considering Sebastian Vettel as a potential replacement for Lewis Hamilton at the team in 2025.
Hamilton has announced that he is leaving Mercedes at thew end of the season at the end of 2024, leaving team principal Toto Wolff withy the task of finding someone to take his seat for next year.
Vettel has emerged as a long shot to take the position, despite the four-time world champion retiring from the sport at the end of 2022. As unlikely as the suggestion sounds, Jordan believes it should be taken seriously.
“If it was me, and the way that Formula 1 is progressing, I would look at Vettel," he told the Formula for Success podcast this week. "I think it’s a good choice.
"It makes sense for Mercedes [to have a] German driver in the car," he continued. “So I think Vettel has to be in the frame because of the major German contact."
Jordan feels he has history on his side in this matter, given that Mercedes lured Michael Schumacher out of retirement to drive for them alongside Nico Rosberg when they returned to F1 in 2011
"We know what happened with Michael before," Jordan argued. "He left Ferrari, where did he go to? Back to Mercedes, so that’s a possibility.
Speaking on the same podcast, former F1 driver David Coulthard gave a more cautious response on the suggestion of Vettel partnering George Russell at Brackley. "I think Vettel could be a good, experienced option.
“He’d certainly be a good marketing story, providing he doesn’t get his doors blown off by George," Coulthard added. "I think George is fantastically fast, so it wouldn’t be easy for Seb.”
But Coulthard also had a different suggestion for Wolff, recommending that they seek to sign the services of Fernando Alonso.
Alonso moved to Aston Martin at the start of 2023, stepping into the seat vacated by Vettel when he retired. The move rejuvenated the two-time world champion with a string of early podium successes.
“If I was Mercedes, I would take Alonso over Vettel,” Coulthard said. “He’s race fit; he understands the engine, the power unit, because of Aston Martin, and he’s still gladiatorial and got the bit between his teeth."
Alonso's success at Aston last year was a big step forward over how Vettel had performed for them in the previous seasons.
"Maybe Seb was just struggling a little bit with the development of the Aston when he was there," Coulthard suggested.
"But he wasn’t putting moves on Lance Stroll in the way that we have seen from Fernando Alonso," he argued. "So if I could get Fernando, I’d take him.”
Meanwhile, Jordan is concerned hat Hamilton's announcement coming so close ot the start of a brand new season had the potential to serious disrupt Mercedes' prospects of taking on Red Bull and Ferrari in 2024.
“I think Toto is under a bit of pressure with Mercedes as to why, for example, we weren’t aware of this before up until car launch time. It’s disturbing [and] distressing for the team," he commented.