Mercedes considering Ricciardo as Hamilton replacement?

Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton; photo: Michael Potts

The Mercedes team is considering bringing in Daniel Ricciardo as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement after the seven-time world champion’s contract expires, British tabloid Daily Mail claims. The Australian driver was left without a place in Formula 1 after agreed to terminate his contract with McLaren early. In Woking they were disappointed that Ricciardo was unable to cope with the team car and they used the opportunity to bring in Oscar Piastri. Daniel still does not know what he will do next season, and there are almost no options left in Formula 1. In Alpin they prefer Pierre Gasly. It doesn’t look like there’s a serious chance for some of the vacant Haas and Alfa Romeo cockpits either.

According to the Daily Mail, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is already making plans for when Hamilton retires from the sport. Lewis has a two-year contract with the team from Brackley – until the end of 2023, when he will already be 39 years old. He has given no indication that he intends to retire from active sports, but Wolff preferred to have an option.

One of the ideas was for Ricciardo to be Mercedes’ reserve driver next year, ready to replace Hamilton if necessary in 2024.

“If they bring Daniel to them, they won’t hang around for a moment,” an unnamed source told the British tabloid.

The information fits with Ricciardo’s expressed desire to accept the role of reserve driver in order to remain in the sport

“I’m actually going with an open mind to every possible scenario,” the 33-year-old Australian shared. “There are positives in stepping back for a while, but it’s also good to stay active.” So I want to know what are the possible options. I’m not too proud to say no if I’m offered to be a backup, for example. My choice should be something that will put me in a better position for the year after. A little patience is required. I’m not just going to give up Formula 1,” added Ricciardo.

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