Written by: Fabiola Aceves
Edited by: Katie LeLasher
Courtesy of Dan Mullan/ Getty Images Europe
Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team have been a dynamic duo since Lewis first signed with the team in 2013. Ten years later, it seems as though the two-year extension of his contract might be coming to an end. After seven World Drivers Championships and eight Constructors Championships, could this really be the end of the British duo?
According to SkySports, Ferrari has reportedly offered him €40 million as part of a contract. It is hard to imagine the Mercedes team without Lewis and vice versa. Lewis and team principal Toto Wolff have created this strong dynamic between the two. It is almost like where one is, the other is there too. The idea of Lewis moving to Ferrari, would not only affect him and Mercedes but also other drivers and teams as well.
Hamilton’s contract is not the only one that is coming to an end at the end of the 2023 Formula One season. According to SkySports, the other drivers whose contracts are ending include Kevin Magnussen with Haas, Yuki Tsunoda with AlphaTauri, Zhou Guanyu with Alfa Romeo, Alex Albon and Williams, and Logan Sargeant with Williams. Since both Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both have a contract with Ferrari until the end of 2024, Lewis’s potential move to Ferrari would mean that one of them would be without a seat for the 2024 season.
The hypothetical move would create a domino effect between the teams and drivers causing many moves to happen. Charles Leclerc is known as Ferrari’s “golden boy”, which to me makes the idea of him losing his seat unlikely, leaving Carlos Sainz without a seat. Carlos Sainz is a talented driver having 15 podiums under his belt and earning his maiden win last year, there is no doubt he would be able to find a team that would want him.
Courtesy of Mark Thompson / Getty Images
If Lewis were to leave Mercedes, they would have an open seat for the 2024 season which could potentially be filled by Carlos Sainz since he has more experience than most of the drivers whose contract finishes at the end of the season. However, Mercedes recently acquired Mick Schumacher, son of legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, as their reserve driver. Mick was in Formula One from 2021 to 2022 and parted with the Hass team at the end of last year. The team would have the option of either using Sainz to their advantage, testing out the waters with Schumacher, or giving a chance to any of the other drivers whose contract ends at the end of this season.
Courtesy of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
The other drivers; Alex Albon, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu, Logan Sargeant, and Kevin Magnussen all have contracts ending this year but in my opinion, will most likely sign with their current teams again due to their success thus far. Driver Yuki Tsunoda first came into Formula One in the year 2021, in the beginning, he had a rough start due to many failures to finish the race but he eventually earned points in the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Tsunoda has had his ups and downs with the team but every race weekend he continues to strive for success.
Zhou Guanyu is still freshly new to the Formula One scene seeing as it is only his second year with Alfa Romeo, but right off the bat in the first race of his rookie year he scored a point by finishing the race in tenth place. Although it was only tenth place, it was still impressive considering it was his first race ever as a Formula One driver.
Kevin Magnussen along with Alex Albon are not new to this scene seeing as Kevin Magnussen was previously with the Hass team from 2017 through 2020 and made his comeback to the sport and team in 2022. Since then he has been consistent and has been trying to show why he belongs to be back in his seat. Before moving to Williams, Albon was originally a reserve driver for the RedBull team and was the second driver to Max Verstappen from 2019 to 2020. During this time he had earned two podiums. During his time so far at Williams, Albon has shown determination and grit by having scored a few points so far for the team.
The only questionable future left is that of Logan Sargeant at Williams. It is Sargeant’s first year in Formula but he has yet to score points. He has come close in the Bahrain Grand Prix where he finished the race in twelfth place so he was just out of the margin for points. The rookie at McLaren, Oscar Piastri, seemed to set the bar seeing as he had already scored points at his home race at the Australian Grand Prix. The season is only beginning, so who knows what he has in store for us.
In the end, these are only the rumors of the paddock. Therefore, nothing is set in stone but remember, the season is not over yet so who knows what surprises await.