With the start of the 2021 season less than 10 weeks away, Sir Lewis Hamilton is still a free agent as he is yet to ink a new deal with the Mercedes F1 Team.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the seven-time World Champion’s demands for a pay rise and his insistence on signing a multi-year extension were reportedly holding up negotiations with Mercedes.
The Silver Arrows refused to comment on these reports when approached by Formula1News.co.uk last week.
And now, a source in the F1 paddock has told this publication that there is a “real chance” that George Russell could replace Sir Hamilton at Mercedes in 2021, given the “unprecedented situation.”
With every passing day, there is growing speculation that Sir Hamilton could lose his drive at Mercedes.
And, with all other F1 teams already confirming their 2021 driver line-ups, he may well have to spend a year on the side-lines or even retire from the sport for good.
Is George Russell Ready To Replace Lewis Hamilton?
Ever since George Russell impressed when he filled in for Sir Hamilton at Mercedes in Sakhir, after the seven-time World Champion tested positive for COVID-19, there have been growing calls for the young Brit to be given a seat with the Silver Arrows.
Initially, the majority of these calls were for Russell to replace Valtteri Bottas, but as Hamilton’s contract saga has drawn on, more and more F1 fans have been calling on Mercedes to sign Russell as a low-cost replacement for the 36-year-old.
While Russell only finished the Sakhir GP in P9, he impressed all weekend and was on course to win the grand prix ahead of Bottas before the team made a costly mistake during a pitstop and he suffered a slow puncture late in the race.
However, a single race at the sharp end of the field is hardly enough to judge if Russell really can fill Sir Hamilton’s boots, but, given the fashion in which the contract negotiations have drawn on, it wouldn’t be surprising if Mercedes decided to roll the dice.
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