Such developments this early are quite unusual considering the 2020 season is yet to begin. The campaign has been delayed by COVID-19, with the opening round set to take place in July.
Following the rotations that occurred at Ferrari and McLaren, what are the latest rumours in the driver market, and who could end up where in 2021?
Given the success that Mercedes and Hamilton have shared since the latter joined the squad in 2013, it would be a major surprise to see the six-time world champion walk away at the end of the year.
The bigger question regards who will fill the cockpit in the opposite side of the garage. Valtteri Bottas is a leading contender, having proven himself stable to the team since joining in 2017.
But following his Ferrari departure, Vettel has also been linked with the German manufacturer, with former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone stating that a Hamilton-Vettel partnership at F1's dominant outfit would form a 'super team'.
Vettel has been competing for a front-running team every year since 2009, and going up against Hamilton would likely be the ultimate test for the 32-year-old, given Hamilton's dominance of the sport in the turbo-hybrid era.
However, Mercedes is still yet to promote one of its junior drivers to the senior team, and George Russell is now in prime position to gain a seat at Mercedes in the future following his F1 debut in 2019.
The Williams driver is managed by Mercedes and has often said that Hamilton would be his ideal teammate, stating he is the “most complete driver that I've ever come across”.
Last week it was reported that Bottas' management team had initiated talks with Renault over a 2021 seat, which will be left behind by Ricciardo.
However, a more shocking move may be on the cards, as it is reported that Bottas' management team has also been in contact with Red Bull over a potential drive.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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