Mercedes has but to announce who will change Lewis Hamilton on the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, however potential candidates are already being mentioned within the paddock.
The obvious choice is Stoffel Vandorn. The Belgian is a reserve driver for Mercedes this season, and after finishing Method E exams in Valencia, he was going to fly to Bahrain. The Belgian is properly acquainted with the staff, though he didn’t get behind the wheel of an actual automobile in 2020, he is aware of very properly the options of the W11 when engaged on a simulator.
It’s price remembering that Stoffel already had expertise changing the rider through the season. In 2016, in Bahrain, he changed Fernando Alonso in McLaren, who was unable to begin after an accident in Melbourne. In that race, Vandorn made an excellent impression, incomes one level for tenth place.
One other Mercedes reserve driver, Esteban Gutierrez, will seemingly not have the ability to change Lewis. When Racing Level was required to get replaced on the stage at Silverstone because of Sergio Perez, who was in poor health with a coronavirus, the staff thought of the Mexican’s candidacy, however refused him, because it turned out that Esteban didn’t have a sound tremendous license giving the proper to begin in Method 1.
Nico Hulkenberg has a a lot increased likelihood of getting again behind the wheel this weekend. This yr he has already changed Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll at Racing Level, incomes factors in two races. The German rider stated that he had achieved outcomes as a result of he was aware of the efficiency staff in earlier years, and if he have been all of the sudden supplied to get behind the wheel elsewhere, he would have refused. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as a doubt that within the case of Mercedes, if Toto Wolff turns to Niko with a proposal, there will probably be no refusal.
George Russell is one other seemingly candidate to switch Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes is pursuing a profession as a British racer, he is aware of the staff and the ability plant properly. Nonetheless, George has a major pilot contract with Williams, and we have no idea if he implies the opportunity of taking part in elsewhere, and whether or not the Grove staff itself has an enough substitute if Russell does sit behind the wheel of Mercedes.
As well as, Williams is simply three factors behind Haas for ninth place within the constructors’ championship. On the quick observe configuration of the Sakhir circuit, the staff could have the perfect likelihood of scoring factors of a complete season, given the powertrain capabilities of Mercedes and the ability issues of its closest Ferrari-powered rivals. Of the 2 Williams riders, Russell has the perfect likelihood of ending within the prime ten, so letting George go in Mercedes will deprive the staff of the chance to compete for a doubtlessly good consequence.
Alternatively, by inviting Russell, Mercedes will have the ability to evaluate him in the identical circumstances with Valtteri Bottas. From a long-term perspective, this can be a good alternative for Mercedes to understand the younger driver.