There have been some rumors that Sergio Perez may be in the mix as a replacement for Lewis hamilton. I guess one could argue that a stable veteran alongside George Russell might make sense but team boss Toto Wolff says the rumors are wrong.
“It’s a complete bull****,” Wolff said during an interview with Motorsport. “I never called Sergio, he’s a good guy and I respect him, but I never talked to him and I was not in contact with any other driver.
“Lewis and I, even in the face of a not-so-encouraging scenario like the beginning of this season, we are always aligned in wanting to try to make things better and to be together next year. And we’ve been telling each other for a couple of months that we could go on, maybe five or 10 years, right? So none of that is true.”
The reality is, Toto wouldn’t be doing his job if he wasn’t thinking about life after Lewis. As all champions come to realize, their time in the sport is over and a team continues on. Each team has to think long term and what would be the best fit from a driver perspective as well as how long does it make sense to keep a driver coupled with the very real situation of a driver making that decision for them by suddenly retiring.
The rumor of Sergio is an interesting one because if it were true, it might suggest to me that Lewis’s departure is sooner than later otherwise they would be working to find their reserve junior driver a drive just as they did to develop George Russell. If there was a sudden vacuum, say next year or the year after, and no seat for their junior driver this year, one might look for a Sergio or veteran. Just a hunch as George isn’t the seasoned veteran yet.
Despite my tinfoil hat musings, Toto says it is bunk. But what would you do if you were Toto? If, and it’s a big if, Lewis told Toto he was retiring after next season, who would you be calling about a possible seat at Merc?