Daniel Ricciardo could potentially be back in the driver’s seat sooner than expected if the rumours of a massive Lewis Hamilton move to Ferrari proves to be true.
As it currently stands, Lewis Hamilton is only contracted to Mercedes until the end of this year. And although the two parties are reportedly working on the details of a new deal, the rumour mill seems to suggest Ferrari is also an option for Sir Lewis.
But if Hamilton goes to Ferrari, there will obviously be a massive hole left in the Mercedes machine that needs filling — and that’s where Daniel Ricciardo could come in.
Daniel Ricciardo to Mercedes
Ricciardo reportedly held talks with Mercedes last year about a potential reserve driver position before he returned to Red Bull, so it’s not entirely shocking to think he could replace Hamilton.
He has been finding his feet again at Red Bull this year after a not-so-nice end to his time at McLaren, with team boss Christian Horner having nothing but positive things to say about the Aussie.
“Daniel’s just a positive energy to have around, and to see him getting his mojo back, to see that big smile on his face — he lights up a room when he walks in,” Horner said back in March.
We already know that Daniel Ricciardo is keen to get back in a driver’s seat next year and considering Leclerc and Sainz aren’t going anywhere, he is going to have to look at switching teams (again) if he wants to make that dream a reality.
Not to mention, his sheer fame and influence would be beneficial if Mercedes lost Hamilton’s superstar status.
Alternative options for Mercedes
While it would make Ricciardo fans happy to see DR racing again, he isn’t the only driver with a shot at replacing Hamilton, should he head to Ferrari.
The first option for Mercedes is, obviously Mick Schumacher, who serves as the team’s reserve driver currently.
The other obvious option would be Carlos Sainz, who would likely find himself out of a spot if Hamilton joins Ferrari. He has jumped around a fair bit in his F1 career, so could Mercedes be the next move?
We can’t be sure where Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo will end up next year, but what we can be sure of is that we will be able to watch it all unfold on the next season of Drive to Survive.