Italian media reveal the name of Hamilton’s successor at Mercedes!

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Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport has made a call, claiming that Carlos Sainz is Mercedes’ chosen one to fill Lewis Hamilton’s coveted seat from 2025.

The Italian daily adds that, according to qualified sources, Sainz has signed a two-year deal with the Brackley squad that will see him race alongside George Russell in 2025 and 2026.

The hearsay follows the announcement on Thursday by Aston Martin that Fernando Alonso will remain with the Silverstone-based outfit until at least 2026.

The Spaniard’s signing was the first domino to fall in a driver market that was set ablaze before the start of the 2024 F1 season by Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari next year, at the expense of Sainz.

Alonso was linked to Mercedes’ vacant seat, as was/is the team’s protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli, whom team boss Toto Wolff recently described as the driver in the “strongest position” to succeed Hamilton.

However, it appears – quite logically – that Mercedes would rather see Antonelli first learn the ropes of F1 with Williams, its engine customer, perhaps as early as 2025.

Sainz’ prospective move to Mercedes has been described by many pundits as a no brainer given the Ferrari charger’s impressive track record this season.

The 29-year-old has stepped onto the podium in every one of the three races he's entered this season. Notably, he clinched a commanding victory in Melbourne just two weeks after undergoing surgery for appendicitis, an ailment that kept him out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Beyond his raw speed, Sainz possesses qualities highly valued by Mercedes. He's known for being a team player, prioritizing the overall success of the team rather than solely focusing on personal glory.

Additionally, his experience in car development would be useful to Mercedes in the context of F1’s upcoming regulation overhaul in 2026 which will significantly impact car and engine design.

Pending confirmation by Mercedes of Sainz’s move to Brackley at the end of this season, the three-time Grand Prix winner will likely remain on Red Bull’s shortlist.

Helmut Marko recently described Sainz’s current form as “fascinating” while Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckoned that he could not dismiss the Scuderia driver’s candidacy given his present track record.

However, both Marko and Horner have also stated that they would be more than happy to extend Sergio Perez’s contract with Red Bull into 2025 in light of the Mexican’s strong start to his 2024 campaign.

But on paper, Sainz's arrival at Mercedes would be a win-win scenario for both parties. Mercedes gains a proven race winner and development asset, while Sainz finds a competitive team with a strong championship pedigree.

Together, they can form a formidable partnership capable of challenging for top honors in the coming years, particularly with the upcoming regulatory shift in F1.

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