Who else could Mercedes have subbed in for Hamilton?

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With the recent news of Lewis Hamilton’s positive Covid-19 test, Mercedes AMG have themselves a conundrum – Who gets to take a spin in the most dominant car the sport has ever seen? Their answer? George Russel, the young british driver from Williams, who is tipped to become Mercedes’ next driver. The W11 is by far the fastest car on the grid this year and many drivers would have been licking their lips at the opportunity to drive it and perhaps score a very strong result as well. Here is a line up of the main contenders who could have filled in for the seven time world champion.

Stoffel Vandoorne:

Vandoorne was the obvious option as he is Mercedes’ designated reserve driver, however he has not featured in F1 since 2018 with Mclaren in a dreadful season where his teammate Fernando Alonso easily outscored him. He had the advantage that as the designated reserve driver he is fully integrated in the Mercedes team and was due to travel to Bahrain anyways after fulfilling pre season testing in Valencia for Mercedes Formula E team. It is in Formula E that Vandoorne has been able to repair his reputation after finishing 2nd in the overall standings last year and taking a race win. However Vandoorne has not driven the W11 and lack of recent F1 experience harmed his chances.

Nico Hülkenburg:

Despite not having a seat for this year Hülkenburg has affectionately taken the role of “super sub” in this years edition of F1, twice filling in for Racing Point after their drivers contracted Covid-19. Despite starting at the back of the grid in one of the races he was able to score points in both of them. Despite not being signed to Mercedes, Racing Points current car is very similar to Mercedes’ last year and would not have been too much of a change and it is dubbed ” The Pink Mercedes” by many F1 fans. As he doesn’t have a seat he would have been able to drive for Mercedes and is definitely the driver with the most F1 experience and calibre on this list, having driven in 9 seasons prior to 2020. Although he is often known as the best driver to never score a podium in Formula One this would have been a great opportunity to change that and will continue to be a reliable option for Mercedes as he is a proven points scorer and has full-time experience from last season.

George Russell:

Having done multiple tests with the W11 in pre season, and being a part of Mercedes’ coveted driving academy, George Russel was a bold yet obvious choice. What’s more is that he is a current F1 driver competing for Williams this year with a perfect qualifying record having never lost vs his teammate. This is a perfect opportunity for the loveable Brit to score his first world championship points. That would be a great look for Mercedes at what is supposed to be their future and how he shapes up against Valtteri Bottas the man whose seat he is tipped to compete for in 2022.

Mercedes obviously had a big decision on their hands with three very capable drivers vying for a chance to drive the W11. Vandoorne was probably the easy option as he is their reserve driver but he failed to prove himself at the big time before. Hulkenburg is the most accomplished driver of the trio and but as he is not their driver is there a long-term

Williams’ George Russell during day one of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

advantage of it as they don’t need the points with the constructor’s championship already secure? Finally, Russell, an exciting Mercedes prospect for the future will have a go in the W11. I’m sure George Russel will have a weekend to remember flying around the shortest lap in F1 history.