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Wolff hints at driver to help deal with Hamilton 'curveball'

Wolff hints at driver to help deal with Hamilton 'curveball'

Wolff hints at driver to help deal with Hamilton 'curveball'

Wolff hints at driver to help deal with Hamilton 'curveball'

Lewis Hamilton could be replaced by a rookie driver at Mercedes, the polar opposite of the Brit's vast Formula 1 experience.

The Austrian team principal has a tricky decision to make, with the seven-time champion and F1 legend that is Hamilton, set to leave the team at the end of the season.

Both on and off-track, he is almost irreplaceable, making finding another suitor a difficult task for Wolff who has to pair George Russell up with another budding star.

But there’s only a matter of time before the Silver Arrows will be forced to make a decision as they prepare for next season – the last of the current technical regulations.

READ MORE: Russell hit with FRESH round of memes after pre-season photos

James Allison is heavily involved with Mercedes' future car developments again
Toto Wolff stands between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Wolff: I want to wait

Speaking to the media in Bahrain at the Formula 1 pre-season test, he suggested that Andrea Kimi Antonelli could be an option for Mercedes.

“We got that curveball thrown at us with Lewis in the beginning of February,” he said. “I want to do the opposite when choosing the driver for next year.

“It’s clear Kimi has been in our junior category since he was 11 and we have had great pleasure in watching him grow as a young man and growing through the ranks.

“But I also want to take a little bit of pressure off him. He’s 17. He’s won everything he needed to win in his rookie season, but I think he is going to be a Formula 1 driver,” Wolff continued.

"He’s going to be a very, very successful driver in Formula 1. But he hasn’t started his Formula 2 campaign yet.

“I want to wait out the first F2 races that are actually going to go with Formula 1.”

First, there is a 24-race season ahead of them to complete, and progress to make back towards the front of the pack if Mercedes want to compete for victories and have the premier tier drivers in the future.

READ MORE: F1 Practice Today: Bahrain GP 2024 start times, schedule and ESPN coverage

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Lewis Hamilton Mercedes George Russell Toto Wolff Andrea Kimi Antonelli Silver Arrows
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