Nothing has been confirmed by Mercedes on when they will use the second slot to bring in a rookie driver and who they will choose. But Vesti is currently the most experienced driver in Mercedes’ junior programme and the closest to finding a seat in F1 having just made the jump up to the F2 series this year.
Mercedes will also have one eye on who they plan to bring in to replace Hamilton as the Brit will be 39 years of age at the start of the 2024 campaign and with no promises he plans to continue beyond next year. Finding out how both Vesti and De Vries can cope in the Mercedes this year could give them a leg up when choosing who to bring in to drive alongside Russell in the future.
Mercedes could go a completely different way and replace Hamilton with someone already on the F1 grid with the likes of Mick Schumacher, Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo potentially all being available. But giving Vesti a chance later in the year would seem like an ideal opportunity to see how drivers on their own books can take on the challenge.