There is also chatter that Formula E champion Nyck De Vries who is also a Mercedes junior driver could get a look in.
French broadcaster Canal+ has claimed that the most seasoned driver in the history of formula one will call it quits at the end of this year. Kimi Raikkonen, who is the last man to win a world title with Ferrari will end his career at the end of this year, rounding off 18 years in the sport. The former Ferrari driver who has been at Alfa Romeo which was also his first F1 team in 2001 will be likely replaced by fellow Finn, Valtteri Bottas currently partners Lewis Hamilton in the world championship-winning Mercedes team. Bottas is expected to be replaced by the sensational George Russell who is a Mercedes junior driver but currently drives for Williams on loan.
Canal+ expects the announcement to come soon during the Italian GP weekend in two weeks. Earlier, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had revealed that a decision had been made on who will partner Lewis Hamilton in the 2022 season but he stayed mum on revealing more. Bottas and Russell were also coy about the situation.
It has also been reported that in the case that Russell leaves for Mercedes, Williams has its eyes on former Red Bull driver Alex Albon who is currently racing in DTM. He also is Red Bull’s current development and reserve driver but since Sergio Perez has signed an extension for 2022, chances of Albon coming back to Red Bull are not likely for 2022. Williams had also its eyes on Nico Hulkenberg for the lead driver role, but one way or the other Russell’s teammate Nicholas Latifi will likely be retained as he has impressed on the track and also he comes with investment money that the team needs.
There is also chatter that Formula E champion Nyck De Vries who is also a Mercedes junior driver could get a look in. He could either be signed by Williams or Alfa Romeo. Ferrari has relinquished the slot of one driver on the Alfa Romeo team which is currently occupied by Antonio Gionvinazzi who is out of contract next year.