EXCLUSIVE: Mercedes are considering Daniel Ricciardo as a long-term replacement for Lewis Hamilton – who is only under contract until 2023 – and could bring in the Australian as a reserve driver for the upcoming season
- McLaren rejects Daniel Ricciardo being considered by Mercedes for 2024
- The Silver Arrows see the Australian as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, 38
- The seven-time world champion only has one contract left until the end of the season
Mercedes plans a future without Lewis Hamilton – with Daniel Ricciardo set to replace him in 2024.
Hamilton is only signed with the Silver Arrows until the end of next season, a few weeks before his 39th birthday.
The seven-time world champion hasn’t said exactly when he will retire, but Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff isn’t leaving succession planning to chance, which Sportsmail believe is why Ricciardo comes into play.
F1 powerhouse Mercedes has emerged as a shock option for Daniel Ricciardo
With Lewis Hamilton (left) and George Russell, the established two leading drivers for Mercedes, Ricciardo would be a back-up option
The 33-year-old Australian has been dropped from McLaren for next season after a slump in form.
One idea being considered by Mercedes is enlisting Ricciardo as a reserve driver for next season, making him ready to take over Hamilton’s racing seat and 2024 partner George Russell if necessary.
A well-placed source told Sportsmail: “Having Daniel in their camp means they won’t be left stranded.”
Toto Wolff’s team does not leave its successor planning to chance