There are rumours floating about that Lewis Hamilton may be calling time on his Formula One career after the controversial scenes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which cost the British driver a record-breaking eighth World Championship.
If these rumours do become reality, Mercedes would have a seat to fill for 2022 but just who would they choose?
Option 1: Valtteri Bottas
This one would be a shock, but Mercedes might be able to buy Bottas out of his contract at Alfa Romeo and give him a shock seat for 2022. He left the German manufacturer at the end of the 2021 season after five years of racing for the team, reaching Q3 at every single Grand Prix.
It would be unlikely that Mercedes pursue this option but never say never. He knows the team and has made a lot of friends at Brackley and Brixworth that may just change his mind.
Option 2: Esteban Ocon
This is one of the more likely options for the reigning World Champions to look at, with Ocon already being a Grand Prix winner.
He currently races for Alpine but still remains a Mercedes driver to some extent and previously spent time with the team as their reserve driver after he lost his seat at the then Racing Point team.
Option 3: Oscar Piastri
Many believe he should be in Formula One and what a move this would be for the young Australian driver should it come off.
It is highly unlikely, but it would be a crowd-pleaser. He is contracted to Alpine as their reserve driver for the 2022 season and on the back of winning the Formula 2 Championship, he is a driver with a lot of talent. However, a move to a Championship winning team might just be too much of a leap just now.
Option 4: Nyck de Vries
The Formula E World Champion is a reserve driver for Mercedes and has a ton of talent that would make him a solid fit on the F1 grid.
A move to a Championship winning team might be too much of a leap but with him already integrated into the team, he would be a realistic option.
Option 5: Literally anyone else
There are so many drivers that could be considered by Mercedes for a seat in their team. Lando Norris could make the move from McLaren or even Sebastian Vettel could make the move from Aston Martin.
Even when we look at other series, there is contenders but Mercedes choosing the right fit for the team will be the big difference in them winning their ninth title in a row, or losing their streak.
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