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Fight for the most desirable place on the grid

Ante Maras

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The news that Lewis Hamilton is positive on COVID-19 and that he will have to miss the Sakhir GP left no one without comment and sparked a debate over who should replace him for the upcoming race. While there are a very large number of candidates who want to sit in the currently most desirable car in the world, only a few have a very high chance of getting that spot, even though 2020 has taught us that we should expect the unexpected.

Stoffel Vandoorne

The current test driver of Mercedes and a competitor for Mercedes in Formula E is definitely vying for a place on the grid this weekend, given that his last appearance in F1 was in Abu Dhabi in 2018 behind the wheel of a McLaren in which he did not become overly famous during 2 seasons he was convincingly defeated by teammate Fernando Alonso, to put it mildly. Precisely this and the fact that he has not been active in Formula 2 for 1 years despite occasional tests for Mercedes do not give me hope that he could bring a satisfactory result if Mercedes decides for him, but it may surprise us, and Bottas on the other side of the garage is quite an easier challenge than Alonso or Hamilton.

George Russell

The young hope of British motorsport and the current Williams driver is also looking with great desire towards a vacant seat in the Mercedes. While the fact that he is currently a Williams driver makes it a little difficult to fulfill his wish, Toto Wolff as his “patron” will have no problem negotiating Russell’s temporary transfer with Williams ’bosses. The only problem in my opinion is that this move could be too much for him considering where Williams is and where Mercedes is, and in some situations when he could win points he reacted amateurishly and spilled potential points, such as in Imola this year. Yes, he has not lost in qualifying against any of his teammates in the qualifiers, and he was convincing against them in the races, but his teammates were Kubica and Latifi, who are not the best measure of quality, with due respect.

Nico Hulkenberg

An experienced and quality driver who in my opinion, and in the opinion of many, is currently the best choice to replace Lewis Hamilton. Although he has not had a permanent place on the grid since the end of 2019, he has already appeared 3 times this season as a replacement for Racing Point drivers and left a great impression in a car with which he did not have excessive contact, thus proving to be an extremely adaptable driver. Also, precisely because of the races for Racing Point, whose car shares a lot of similarities with last year's Mercedes car, which will make it a little easier for him to adapt to the Mercedes car. Also, he would finally get a concrete chance to win the podium as the Mercedes W11 is miles ahead of all the cars.

Nyck de Vries

Stoffel’s team-mate in Formula E is also mentioned as one of the candidates for the driver’s seat at Mercedes, though not as one of the stronger candidates. Last year's Formula 2 champion showed talent in Formula E this season, but it seems a bit unbelievable and too ambitious to jump from a Formula E car to a Formula 1 car, without any experience with an F1 car.

Esteban Ocon

The Renault driver also aspires to a place in Mercedes in some combinations due to managerial connections with Toto Wolff, and he has already shown in some situations how strong this connection is. The problem is that he didn't really show up this season, although luck didn't bother him too much.

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Ante Maras
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Comment

31 comments

  1. Sebastian Vettel 5 battery992 Show

    The Hulk is a joy to all… Russell is a comforting option…



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  2. If Botas loses in the next race to any of the above, let him quit himself immediately! Not because he is better than them, but because that car knows in his soul.



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  3. Mclaren KERS Show

    No one will be celebrated..1 race is too little.



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  4. Since someone new will sit in Luja's car and achieve a most likely unrepresentative result (habituation period), I already see British journalists cheering and interpreting it as - you see it's not up to the car, not everyone can… omg… maybe look at mute or fire rage quit (I know I won't but anyway).



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    • Lewis Hamilton 44 NRteamLH44 Show

      How then, according to that theory, Nico Hulkenberg sat in RP without a period of getting used to and achieved quite good results, and then he was interpreted by the same journalists and the masses on the site as a top driver, an audience favorite, and realistically in his career has driven no notable results other than one PP in Brazil in changing weather conditions, in which Stroll also managed to take a PP. ?



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      • NRteam totally agree with you. If the Hulk wins then Hamilton is worth nothing. If the Hulk finishes seventh then he will say getting used to the car blah blah blah. Here 70% of the people including a few people running the portal have an aversion to Hamilton and will simply challenge his success. It will turn everything the way it suits them and their opinion. Hulka is praised by everyone and there are 100+ races without a podium. I would love for him to drive that race instead of Hamilton but for all that praise you give him he still has to prove himself.



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        • Blue Flag dFixxx3r Show

          that the hulk is in question I do not acknowledge the period of habituation. since it's a russel, I doubt it will handle it flawlessly. less experience, less f1 in the ass, fewer different cars driven, less race races in general, a huge difference between the best and worst car this and last year on the grid.


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        • Niki Lauda wapi Donator Show

          What is the odds of not finishing the first round?



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        • Sebastian Vettel 5 Pastor Show

          I have no doubt that the Hulk would get used to it quickly. He has shown it many times already. But I have no doubt that Russell will also have trouble adjusting. What worries me more is some mistake he might make because of too much desire, and the pressure he will have. Either something goes wrong or damages the car. And as for the preparation itself, he already knows enough about Mercedes, a lot more than the Hulk knew about the RP until this year. He has been driving a Mercedes engine for two years. He certainly knows all the mods how they work. It is true that Williams is a much slower car, but he already has enough experience with the factory Mercedes, both in the simulator and in the tests he had with them. So it would be a disappointment to me if he is not on the podium with such a strong Bear, unless some malfunction or mistake happens to him.



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  5. Nigel Mansell The Simpsons Show

    Ocon in Merc, Alonso in Renault.
    This year is special anyway, why not such a surprise
    I'd like to see Russell.
    I think the young man is very fast.



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  6. Felipe Massa Braziliscanec Masa Show

    As for the question of the winner of the race: Hamilton will be replaced by Bottas.



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  7. Williams Montoya Show

    Neither Salo, nor Fisichella, nor Badoer were very famous. So …..



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  8. renato2107 Donator Show

    Imagine Bottas being positive now…

    I expected them to be more prepared, the spare driver is only on paper, some tests are driven by Russel or someone from F2 anyway



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  9. Michael Schumacher VRSV546 Show

    In my opinion, if I were toto, I would first try to push Russell, but as a fan, I would see the hulk, a man who is fast (he is not among the 5 fastest, but they will not embarrass him) and see if that bot deserves to be an assistant or not. I don't underestimate Russell, but he still doesn't have a competitive car or a colleague, so you can be sure that he is world class.
    And vandorne and gutierez were also for rp as reserve drivers, and they don't even follow them on instagram 😂



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  10. Charles Leclerc 16 Catta Show

    Russell in Mercedes, and Hulk in Williams.

    Russell gives up the race and continues his streak without a point, and the Hulk wins the only point for Williams of the season.



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  11. Lewis Hamilton 44 NRteamLH44 Show

    The driver of Renault also in some combinations aspires to a place in Mercedes due to managerial connections with Toto Wolff, and he has already shown in some situations how strong this connection is.

    Question for the author, in which situations exactly did Toto Wolff show a strong connection with Ocon? Ok, we all know that Ocon was their project and that the connection was so strong that Ocon ended up in Renault, a team that has nothing to do with Mercedes, that at least he ended up in RP or Williams so let's argue something he fixed, but it looks like nothing.

    So once again I wonder what the author of the text is alluding to with this strong connection we have seen?



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    • Tag Heuer Ante Maras journalist Show

      It was at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix if memory serves, when Ocon, driving for FI, deliberately missed Lewis Hamilton and after that when asked why he did it he said he was not a FI driver but a Mercedes driver, and he knows be who is the main one in Mercedes, tkd can be taken out of context that connection. It’s not some unknown fact or something.



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      • Bernie Ecclestone Dani Donator Show

        But that is not the answer to the question. Is the connection so strong that Toto will be looking for a Renault Ocon as Russell is looking for?



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        • Tag Heuer Ante Maras journalist Show

          Since it was decided that Russell would replace Hamilton, it doesn't matter that much anymore, but after all, one of the main reasons why Ocon is in Renault is the connection between Mercedes and Renault outside F1 and there is certainly something Wolff negotiated. But the answer to the question is that the connection is strong enough for Wolff to do something like that in case Ocon delivers the result, and he doesn’t really deliver it.



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    • Felipe Massa Braziliscanec Masa Show

      Toto is Ocon's manager, as are Russell's and Walter's.



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  12. Niki Lauda wapi Donator Show

    If I were W, and Toto came to me he would say wear Rusella, but don't bring him back. And he would take the Hulk now, and next year Illot.



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  13. Michael Schumacher Slavenowsky Donator Show

    Stoffel Vandoorne will get a 100% chance and btw the same Bottas will be Bottas.


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  14. Mercedes Serviser Donator Show

    At ORF, Toto said either Russell or Hulk, they are in doubt, but I think that the German will still be ahead of the British



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