Scuderia Ferrari is apparently considering a bid for the 38-year-old Lewis Hamilton before the end of this year, which could drastically alter the Formula One grid in 2024. Hamilton, who will be a free agent before the start of next season if nothing changes, has been in discussions with the Silver Arrows for weeks but has not yet signed a new contract. According to rumors, Ferrari is keeping a close eye on the matter and has already made arrangements to give Hamilton a sensational £40 million contract before next season. This would be the end of Hamilton's decade-long collaboration with Mercedes, which would have to recruit a successor for the British driver in time for the 2024 season.
Who might Lewis Hamilton replace at Ferrari?
If Hamilton were to join Ferrari, he would allegedly race alongside Charles Leclerc, and the Italian team would reportedly be willing to trade away Carlos Sainz to make way for Hamilton. Hamilton is currently the top driver for Mercedes. Hamilton is said to be interested in joining the team because of its legendary status, but he has not yet decided whether or not to make the switch for the 2024 season in pursuit of a record-breaking eighth world championship.
Keep in mind that Leclerc has a deep personal investment in Ferrari. Leclerc's godfather, Jules Bianchi, was on the brink of being designated a Ferrari driver until he passed away in a devastating collision during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. For Leclerc, representing Ferrari is a means of paying tribute to Bianchi.
Leclerc also has a long-time ally in Fred Vasseur, the new Ferrari team principal for the 2023 season. Since Vasseur hasn't had much time to make his mark and implement significant changes at the struggling team, Leclerc may be ready to wait a while to see what he can achieve.
Mercedes Eyes Lando Norris
There is no shortage of drivers who would love to drive for Mercedes if they could. Mick Schumacher, who was released from Haas last season and hired as Mercedes' backup driver, would be a leading contender to replace Lewis in the event that the GOAT decided to retire.
Lando Norris is another possibility. Despite being under contract at McLaren until the end of 2025, it would not be surprising to see Mercedes seek a transfer for Lando Norris. Mercedes would have to purchase Norris out of his current contract to make this happen, which may be difficult given the lack of a break provision; however, McLaren's recent troubles may entice him to push for a change of scenery if the opportunity presents itself.