A shock name is in pole position to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes once he joins Ferrari.
On Thursday the news broke that Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari from the 2025 season onwards, bringing an end to his 11-year association with Mercedes.
Though the 39-year-old endured disappointing 2022 and 2023 seasons with Mercedes, the six Formula One World Driver’s Championships he won with them mean this is arguably the biggest driver transfer in the sport’s history.
Hamilton penned a new two-year contract with Mercedes in August, but at 7pm GMT on Thursday the team announced that the star has exercised his option to end their partnership a year early.
According to Italian outlet Formu1a.uno, Hamilton will earn around $100 million per year at Ferrari, a total made up of salary, sponsors, image rights, bonuses and more.
Hamilton will partner Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, meaning that Carlos Sainz will leave the team once the 2024 season has concluded.
The Spaniard – son of famed rally driver Carlos Sainz Sr – brought Ferrari their only grand prix victory of the 2023 season.
After confirming the news of his departure to make way for Hamilton, Sainz wrote on X: “We still have a long season ahead of us and, like always, I will give my absolute best for the team and for the tifosi all around the world. News about my future will be announced in due course.”
Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes to join Ferrari in 2025 (Credit: Getty)
That last line has sparked speculation about where he might end up, and it appears that Sainz is the favourite to replace Hamilton at Mercedes.
The bookies odds – provided by BonusCodeBets – have Sainz Jr at 6/4 to replace Hamilton, while Alex Albon has odds of 6/4 to leave Williams Racing for Mercedes.
Fernando Alonso is priced at 5/1, with Ferrari being one of the few teams the former World Champion has yet to drive for.
Daniel Ricciardo is 8/1 to take Hamilton’s spot. The Australian could potentially have a future as Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team mate, but being the main man at Mercedes could tempt him away from Red Bull.
27-year-old Alpine driver Esteban Ocon is 16/1, while 17-year-old sensation Kimi Antonelli is 25/1.
The full set of odds are:
6/4 – Carlos Sainz
2/1 – Alex Albon
5/1 – Fernando Alonso
8/1 – Daniel Ricciardo
16/1 – Esteban Ocon
25/1 – Andrea Kimi Antonelli
50/1 – Mick Schumacher
33/1 – Sergio Perez
100/1 – Pierre Gasly
100/1 – Frederik Vesti
100/1 – Zak O’Sullivan
100/1 – Ollie Bearman
100/1 – Sebastian Vettel
100/1 – Valtteri Bottas