Mercedes to hire Esteban Ocon instead of Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton’s surprise move to Ferrari for the upcoming season has caused a buzz in the world of Formula 1. Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle suggests that Mercedes might be eyeing Esteban Ocon, a driver from Alpine, for the 2025 season. Toto Wolff, the team principal, is particularly interested in Ocon as a potential replacement for Hamilton, who will be leaving at the end of this season. Brundle mentioned the possibility of Ocon making a significant career leap to partner with George Russell in the future during the Sky Sports F1 Podcast.

Hamilton’s unexpected transfer to Ferrari has not only shaken up the Formula 1 paddock but has also intensified the already turbulent driver market for the 2024 season. Before this, the off-season was relatively quiet, with much attention focused on Guenther Steiner’s departure from Haas. However, Hamilton’s surprising move has changed the landscape, especially considering the number of drivers whose contracts will expire. With Mercedes’ decade of success, Wolff will have a wide range of talented drivers to choose from to fill Hamilton’s position. The spot alongside George Russell is particularly desired, assuming Sergio Perez stays at Red Bull.

Brundle now speculates that Ocon, who has ties to Mercedes, could be a potential candidate for a move in 2025. As Ocon enters the final year of his contract with Alpine and after a disappointing season for the French team, he may not be eager to extend his current deal. Brundle discussed Mercedes’ options for the upcoming season and suggested that they may want to see how Andrea Kimi Antonelli performs before making a decision. However, he believes that they have their sights set on Ocon.

Alpine has expressed their commitment to providing Ocon and his teammate Pierre Gasly with a more competitive car this season. Ocon, who also has aspirations to compete in Le Mans, maintains strong connections to Mercedes from his time in their academy. Although Ocon’s potential signing may not generate immediate excitement due to his somewhat average performance in 2023, which only included a podium finish in Monaco, circumstances could change in the coming months. Ocon may be hopeful that Brundle’s prediction comes true, as it would give him the opportunity to race for Mercedes in 2025 and improve his chances of securing more victories in Formula 1.

 

Gideon Canice

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