The racing community is wild with speculation about who Toto Wolff will find to pair with Lewis Hamilton for the 2017 F1 season. Who want’s to be the new MB driver AND Lewis’ teammate? Well, there are two who don’t or more to their point their current boss doesn’t. Christian Horner of Red Bull made Toto’s list a little bit shorter recently. The Mirror ran an article Saturday where Red Bull team boss Christian Horner puts everyone on notice that his two drivers are under long term contracts, essentially saying “Go Fish” to the Mercedes camp. Ok, with those two drivers off the table then who are the likely replacements that wouldn’t cause any blood feud with the another team? Sebastian Vettel? Fernando Alonso? Both have another year on their current contracts with Ferrari and McLaren respectively. Whoever it is certainly has be able to hold their own as a teammate of Hamilton. He want’s to flat out race, and maybe being a teammate a distant second. Still though the prestige of driving for the factory team that has proven to be indomitable for much of the season with their hardware let alone the heritage of the team and its expectations can be intoxicating. Still though MB couldn’t be as stressful for driver’s to operate in than the Maranello camp could it?
Valterri Bottas: Good option, except he just signed a new contract so Mercedes would need to contend with that.
Sebastian Vettel: The former four time world champion has another year on his current contract.
Pascal Wehrlein: A lot of promise, and has worked with Mercedes previously. The downside for him is just one F1 season under his belt.
Fernando Alonso: Would probably love to drive for Mercedes, only problem for him is a year left on his current contract.
Esteban Ocon: With a new deal signed at Force India, and even less experience than Werhlein does it make sense for Mercedes to entrust their silver arrow to such a junior driver?
Esteban Gutierrez: Longshot, recently released from Haas. Has shown a temper throughout the team’s inaugural campaign which may have contributed to his dismissal for the 17 season. This is a long shot, but whoever ends up driving for MB will need some spark to match Lewis’ intensity.
Cole Trickle: Well besides the fact he’s a fictional character if that’s all you have on him then I’d like to point out that he won the last race against Ross Wheeler, and won the girl. Boom. [mic drop]
Me: I mean, I’ve certainly watched a lot of it on television. You’d be surprised how good the coverage is on ESPN. EDIT: Homage to Cole Trickle. Seriously, I think my “seat” time on Forza using Xbox One has adequately prepared me. They make those cars for the Big & Tall driver, right?
Jeff Gordon: I mean, he’s retired. It’s not like his racing for Cadillac at the 24 Hours of Daytona would impact any of the 17 F1 season. Plus if it has wheels he can drive it, and probably pretty well.
There are certainly other options, but these seem to be the obvious ones to me. Another option that is so far removed from a reasonable likelihood other than the sake of bandying pedigreed names about is one in which Mercedes calls up Mick Schumacher before his second season is Formula 4. Improbable, but not impossible. Highly improbable though. This is my way of saying who knows who will become the newest driver of the silver arrow. Anything is possible.
I’ll ask the question again, who wants to drive for Mercedes Benz, and who wants to be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate?