Lewis Hamilton replacement race hots up with hopefuls even calling George Russell

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso shakes hands with George Russell and Alex Albon

George Russell says it's up to Toto Wolff to decide his 2025 team-mate.

George Russell says it has been “quite funny” seeing the names of the drivers showing up on Toto Wolff’s phone as they vie for the open 2025 Mercedes seat…they’re even calling Russell.

Mercedes are searching for a new driver for next season after Lewis Hamilton surprised his team when he announced he’d been swapping to Ferrari at the end of the year.

It’s safe to say every driver not locked into a contract is keen on that seat, and even a few who do have deals in place.

‘…even on my phone as well the phone calls and text messages’

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Russell, who has been out and about with Wolff in the off-season, has had a look at the names that have been calling.

He, however, didn’t go into details on that although did reveal some hopefuls have even been phoning and messaging him.

“I think it’s important to have good harmony between the drivers, because that trickles down into all of the engineers and the whole team,” Russell told the media including PlanetF1.com when asked about his potential 2025 team-mate.

“But ultimately, the decision is with Toto and the board.

“We’ve already had conversations and I’ve been with Toto a lot this winter so seeing the drivers’ names pop up on the telephones was quite funny, and even on my phone as well the phone calls and text messages.

“So yeah it’s been quite interesting.

“But as a team, we’re in a really good opportunity and position to go into this next chapter. There’s been so much success with Lewis and Mercedes.”

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Sitting next to him in the press conference, the question of the Mercedes seat was then put to Fernando Alonso.

The double World Champion, who recently conceded he was “attractive to other teams” but that his “first priority” was to speak with Aston Martin about the future, shut it down.

“I already said last week when we talked about the future,” the Spaniard saying not to go into it again as “next week is going to be the same question.”

But with his manager Flavio Briatore posting a photo of himself having a sit-down with Wolff, Alonso can expect the questions to keep coming…

Read next: Toto Wolff sidesteps question on whether Lewis Hamilton should’ve waited for W15