Journalist Ted Kravitz has suggested that Mercedes will look to Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc if Lewis Hamilton was to leave the team.
Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, Kravitz was discussing how some driver line-ups could be shaken up going forward.
The Italian team haven’t made any sort of offer to Hamilton yet.
However, the 38-year-old’s contract at Mercedes runs out at the end of the year.
Further down the grid, Nyck de Vries might already be fighting for his place on the grid.
He’s struggling in his first five races as a full-time driver on the grid after an amazing cameo last year at Monza.
If Hamilton were to leave Mercedes, Kravitz believes they would turn to Charles Leclerc to replace him.
Given Leclerc’s current team want Hamilton, a swap deal looks like the most logical solution.
However, Ferrari ideally would like to have both drivers racing alongside each other next season.
Mercedes see Leclerc as Hamilton replacement
Asked about what could happen if the Brit departed Mercedes, Kravitz said: “Mercedes need an insurance policy if Lewis [Hamilton] decides to stop or leave.
“That policy looks like Charles Leclerc until they wait for their juniors.”
Leclerc has proven to be one of the fastest drivers on the grid, particularly on street circuits.
He’s been on pole in his homeland of Monaco for the past two seasons.
The 25-year-old has had terrible luck when it comes to the races though and hasn’t scored a point in Monte Carlo in his F1 career.
Leclerc is liable to a mistake, especially when the stakes are high.
However, he’s undoubtedly very quick and should be a championship contender for years to come.
In an ideal world, Mercedes won’t want to prepare for Hamilton’s departure for some time, but Leclerc is a strong backup plan.
It’s still too early in the year for Formula 1’s silly season to kick into gear.
With Hamilton’s contract ending later in the year, speculation is likely to be rife around the grid until his future is decided.