The Race to Replace Hamilton Heats Up, Candidates Reach Out to George Russell

With Lewis Hamilton's unexpected move to Ferrari at year's end, Mercedes finds itself in the hunt for a new driver for the 2025 season.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Updated on February 23, 2024

George Russell Drivers Conference Pre-Season Testing 2024
George Russell says it's up to Toto Wolff to decide his 2025 team-mate

George Russell has found humour in the situation, noting the influx of eager drivers appearing on Toto Wolff’s caller ID, with some even making direct contact with him in their bid for the coveted 2025 Mercedes seat.

Mercedes is on the lookout for a successor to Lewis Hamilton after his startling announcement that he will be switching to Ferrari for next season. The competition for the seat is fierce, attracting attention from nearly every driver not currently tied to a contract and, surprisingly, from several who are.

Formula One History Recommends

Calls and texts come to my phone too

Spending time with Wolff during the off-season, Russell has seen firsthand the variety of drivers trying to get in touch. While he chose not to disclose specific names, he confirmed that several hopefuls have been calling and texting him directly in hopes of securing a position.

“I think it’s important to have good harmony between the drivers, because that trickles down into all of the engineers and the whole team,” Russell told the media when asked about his potential 2025 team-mate.

“But ultimately, the decision is with Toto and the board.

“We’ve already had conversations and I’ve been with Toto a lot this winter so seeing the drivers’ names pop up on the telephones was quite funny, and even on my phone as well the phone calls and text messages.

“So yeah it’s been quite interesting.

“But as a team, we’re in a really good opportunity and position to go into this next chapter. There’s been so much success with Lewis and Mercedes.”

During the press conference, seated beside him, Fernando Alonso was asked about the vacancy at Mercedes.

The two-time World Champion, who had previously admitted to being sought after by other teams but emphasised that his “first priority” was to discuss his future with Aston Martin, quickly dismissed the topic.

“I already said last week when we talked about the future,” the Spaniard saying not to go into it again as “next week is going to be the same question.”

However, with his manager Flavio Briatore sharing an image of a meeting with Wolff, Alonso should anticipate the questions to continue.

Seen in:

About The Author

Senior Editor

Lee Parker
Lee Parker

Lee is our staff writer specialising in anything technical within Formula 1 from aerodynamics to engines. Lee writes most of our F1 guides for beginners and experienced fans having followed the sports since 1991, researching and understanding how teams build the ultimate machines. Like everyone else on the team he listens to podcasts about F1 and enjoys reading biographies of former drivers.

Latest Reads