Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team has options that are “exciting to contemplate” when it comes to replacing Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton next year.
Hamilton’s shock switch was confirmed on Thursday evening, with the seven-time world champion activating a break clause in the two-year deal he signed in August to join Ferrari in 2025. Wolff says he knew that the partnership would have to end at some stage but that Mercedes has a number of possibilities to replace Hamilton.
“In terms of a team-driver pairing, our relationship with Lewis has become the most successful the sport has seen, and that’s something we can look back on with pride; Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history,” Wolff said.
“However, we knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come. We accept Lewis’s decision to seek a fresh challenge, and our opportunities for the future are exciting to contemplate. But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on going racing to deliver a strong 2024.”
One such option could prove to be the driver Hamilton is replacing at Maranello, with Carlos Sainz on the market in 2025 and offering an experienced race winner. The Spaniard says his future plans will be announced at a later date.
“Following today’s news, Scuderia Ferrari and myself will part ways at the end of 2024,” Sainz said. “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.”