Mercedes chief reveals they’ve picked Lewis Hamilton’s replacement amid Ferrari offer

Ferrari are reportedly planning to offer Lewis Hamilton £40 million to move to Maranello in 2024.

With Lewis Hamilton’s future continuing to dominate the headlines, Mercedes’ driver development programme chief Gwen Lagrue has revealed that the Silver Arrows already have someone lined-up to succeed the 38-year-old, when he does eventually leave the team.

Whilst Hamilton is expected to sign a multi-year contract extension for 2024 and 2025, the seven-time World Champion continues to be linked to Ferrari, with the Italians reportedly planning a £40 million offer.

Hamilton has previously admitted to having considered a move to Ferrari, but that Mercedes is ultimately his “home”, effectively ruling out a move away from Brackley.

Until he signs a new contract, though, Hamilton’s future will continue to be discussed, with Mercedes already planning for life post-Hamilton, whether that be in 2024 or in a few years’ time.

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The 103-time race winner has been the Silver Arrows’ leader for so many years now; however, Lagrue has admitted that the team see George Russell as someone who can succeed the veteran.

Russell has performed excellently since he made the switch from Williams to Mercedes last year, with him proving to have all the necessary traits to not only lead a side but also fight for victories.

Lagrue has been hugely impressed by Russell and the way he’s developed since he made the move to Mercedes, with the 25-year-old often doing the “right thing” when given a capable car.

“You always know that when you have the car to win, not before,” Lagrue said.

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“Nevertheless, what I have observed is that each time [Russell] has had a window of opportunity, he has managed to do something transformative.

“That’s very reassuring. If we are able to give him the car, he will do the right thing. If the question is, ‘Do we see in George a successor to Lewis to win races and fight for a title?’ The answer is clear – yes.”

When it does happen, losing Hamilton will be a huge loss initially; however, Russell is clearly the driver that can take Mercedes into the future.

READ: F1 CEO breaks silence on Lewis Hamilton retirement rumours

In regard to Hamilton’s future, though, Wolff isn’t bothered by any of the rumours, with the Austrian being “convinced” that a new deal will not only be agreed but that the Briton will continue to “win for a long time”.

“These rumours come up every two years when we have to sign a new contract,” Wolff recently told Austrian publication Osterreich. “But none of this is true. We discuss normally, without any time pressure.

“I’m firmly convinced that we’ll find each other, there’s not a millimetre of doubt for me. I can’t imagine anything else. If we give Lewis a competitive car, he will win for a long time. Look at Tom Brady and what he was still capable of in his 40s.”