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Hamilton issues verdict on Mercedes 'leader' debate

Hamilton issues verdict on Mercedes 'leader' debate

Hamilton issues verdict on Mercedes 'leader' debate

Hamilton issues verdict on Mercedes 'leader' debate

Since Lewis Hamilton announced he'd be leaving Mercedes speculation has gone wild about who would replace and how the team would fill the void left by the seven-time F1 champion.

Concerns have been raised in particular about who will take on leadership of the Brackley-based outfit from 2025 onwards.

Hamilton himself, though, has no such concerns. The veteran has backed his team-mate George Russell to lead Mercedes after he departs for Ferrari.

READ MORE: Marko issues 'ejector seat' warning to key RB figures

Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes for Ferrari in 2025
Toto Wolff has hinted that George Russell could become the new team leader after Hamilton's departure

Can Russell replace Hamilton at Mercedes?

Hamilton’s shock move to Maranello means that Carlos Sainz will be without a drive for next year as he is to partner Charles Leclerc on a multi-year contract.

The seven-time champion’s stunning switch has sent the driver market into chaos with 13 drivers out of contract at the end of the 2024 season.

It also leaves a seat vacant at Mercedes alongside Russell, with the likes of Fernando Alonso, Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Sebastian Vettel all linked with a move to the silver arrows.

Toto Wolff has insisted that the team are not in rush to replace Hamilton and has hinted that Russell could be the new team leader – and the 39-year-old echoed his Mercedes boss in backing his team-mate ability.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Horner allegations lost Red Bull 'MONTHS' of development claims Villeneuve

hamilton echoed his team boss' thoughts on his team-mate

Speaking at the driver press conference ahead of the first race in Bahrain, Hamilton said: "I'm sure he can [lead the team]. I don't know what else to say about it.

"George is very technical, massively engaging and has come a long way since joining Williams and then joining the team. He's incredibly close with Toto. No doubt that will be his position."

Russell beat Hamilton in their first season as team-mates in 2022, with Russell claiming his first victory and Mercedes’ only win in the ground effect era in Brazil.

In 2023, the 26-year-old could not repeat the year prior and struggled against Hamilton with just two podiums all season and an eight place finish in the standings.

READ MORE: Horner and Red Bull investigation given SCATHING verdict by F1 legend

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