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Hamilton replacement search concludes as two drivers make final Mercedes shortlist

Hamilton replacement search concludes as two drivers make final Mercedes shortlist

Hamilton replacement search concludes as two drivers make final Mercedes shortlist

Hamilton replacement search concludes as two drivers make final Mercedes shortlist

A top Formula 1 pundit has revealed that Mercedes have narrowed their choice of ideal candidates to replace Lewis Hamilton to just two names.

Hamilton shocked the sporting world earlier this year, announcing that he would leave the Brackley-based outfit at the end of this season to embark on a new challenge at Ferrari.

READ MORE: FIA under pressure to make HUGE Monaco GP change after F1 driver call out

The seven-time world champion has struggled for form in 2024 - two sixth-place finishes being his best results so far - and any hopes of adding to his record 103 race wins look increasingly bleak with a quarter of the campaign completed.

Speculation over who could replace the Brit has been growing in recent months, with Carlos Sainz - the man Hamilton is replacing at Ferrari - linked with a move.

However, it is believed that Mercedes have their sights firmly set on enticing Red Bull star Max Verstappen, given the ongoing uncertainty over his future at the reigning constructors' shampions.

Failing that, the team have identified young prodigy Kimi Andrea Antonelli as their top target, according to Craig Slater at Sky Sports.

The Italian currently races in F2, and has been widely tipped as a future superstar of F1, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is a big admirer of his talent.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, Slater said: "They want to take their time over their appointment.

"They are waiting on either Max Verstappen if he becomes available, and if he isn’t, then Kimi Andrea Antonelli, the young Italian who turns 18 in August is in position A to take that seat.

READ MORE: Sainz downbeat on Ferrari's Monaco GP chances

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