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27th Feb 2024

F1 legend tipped to come out of retirement and replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

Callum Boyle

This would be one of the biggest moves in F1 history.

Mercedes have been tipped to replace the outgoing Lewis Hamilton with a former Formula One world champion.

Hamilton shocked the sport earlier this year when he confirmed he would be leaving Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season to join rivals Ferrari after exercising a break clause one year into the two-year contract he signed last year.

In a statement posted to social media, the seven-time world champion said: “The time is right to make a change and take on a new challenge.

“I still remember the feeling of taking a leap of faith into the unknown when I first joined Mercedes in 2013. I know some people didn’t understand it at the time but I was right to make the move then and it’s the feeling I have again now.

“I’m excited to see what I can bring to this new opportunity and what we can do together.

Surprise contender in the frame to replace Hamilton at Mercedes.

As a result of his arrival, Carlos Sainz will depart Ferrari at the end of the season and the Spaniard has been one of those linked with replacing Hamilton however, a surprise name has emerged.

Sebastian Vettel may have retired in 2022 but the four-time world champion could make his return to the grid.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ralf Schumacher, the brother of the legendary Michael Schumacher, revealed that Vettel is intrigued by the movements in F1 and could be tempted by a return.

“I’ve heard that Sebastian Vettel wants to drive again,” Schumacher said.

“Of course, a gap has to be closed now.

“You saw what was going on on the stock market after Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari. That triggered something.”

Lewis Hamilton Ferrari

Vettel called time on his career following two years at Aston Martin and Mercedes chief Totto Wolff revealed that he is still in regular contact with the German.

But the team principal played down any chance of a return after speculation began to mount.

He told AMUS: “I think he [Vettel] made the decision to not race anymore. We are talking on a regular basis. We’ve also talked yesterday, but it wasn’t about driving for us in the future.”

The four-time world champion also refused to rule out a return to Formula One in the future, telling Sky Sports back in November.

“I can’t say no, because that you don’t know.

“I think it’s something that if you asked all of them, probably some of them would have said ‘no’. And some of them I don’t know, but in the end all of them came back, so I can’t exclude it.”

Read next: All you need to know ahead of the 2024 season of Formula 1.