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Hamilton: 'Smart and wise' to consider options, does not deny Ferrari talks

  • Published on 01 Dec 2019 19:00
  • comments 11
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Rob Watts

Lewis Hamilton has refused to deny he's spoken with Ferrari and says he’s waiting on confirmation from Toto Wolff regarding his future before making a decision on his own.

Rumours have grown recently regarding Ferrari’s potential interesting in pursuing Hamilton when his Mercedes contract expires in a year’s time, with Italian media reporting that the six-time champion has met with Ferrari chairman John Elkann.

When asked about the rumours in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton made little attempt to play down talk of having spoken with Ferrari but did reveal he was waiting for news on Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s commitment to F1 before deciding whether or not to extend his own deal with the team.

“Naturally, everything that happens behind closed doors is obviously private with whoever it is you end up sitting with,” said Hamilton.

“For many, many years I’ve never sat down and considered other options because we’ve just been driving straight ahead into the path that we’ve been on, and to be honest, I still think that we’re on that path.”

With Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc’s relationship becoming tense at points this season, Ferrari may decide that a move for Hamilton makes sense.

In fact, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto attracted attention on Friday with his comments that Hamilton’s contract uncertainty “can only make us happy”.

Hamilton waiting for Toto Wolff's clarifications

Mercedes’ position on their F1 future remains unclear with rumours the German manufacturer may be considering their long-term future amid a growing focus on other projects such as the new Mercedes EQ Formula E team.

Wolff was in attendance at the team’s debut race in Saudi Arabia last month and is known to be a big admirer of the championship, with wife Susie also involved as team principal of the Monegasque Venturi team.

Hamilton added that Wolff’s future was a consideration, adding: “I know Toto is looking at his options in terms of his future, and only he’ll know what is the best things for him and his family, so I’m waiting to see what he’s doing with that.

“I love where I am so it’s definitely not a quick decision to go and do something else, but it’s only smart and wise to think of what I want if it is the last period or stage of my career.

“I want to keep winning and to keep fighting with these guys [Verstappen and Leclerc], so I can’t really tell you what else is going to happen moving forward.”

Replies (11)

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  • Ho boy, this'll keep the rumour mills running. Imagine Hammy moving to Ferrari now, and if Merc' snipes Max, and then Vettel moves back to RBH. Would be really curious to see how that'd play out.

    • + 0
    • Dec 1 2019 - 19:48
    • I think Lewis at Ferrari would be an interesting experiment, but I admit it would feel a bit like Luis Figo going from Barcelona to Real Madrid.

      • + 0
      • Dec 1 2019 - 20:38
    • The move wouldn't make sense for Hammy's dominance, he is far safer remaining at Merc'. However, for his credibility he'd be far better off moving to a different team, because that is the only way he can truly prove that he is a champ regardless of him being in the best car or not.

      • + 0
      • Dec 1 2019 - 21:40
    • @calle, hmm that's a provocative assertion. Did you think Michael Schumacher needed to win away from Ferrari to cement his legacy? I mean... It's not like Michael ever beat a serious teammate, or won a championship in a car that wasn't absolutely dominant

      • + 0
      • Dec 2 2019 - 03:05
    • Provocative? Not at all. It is a pretty common opinion, in fact, even among the drivers, and very analog to the criticism surrounding Vettel not winning a title since Red Bull. No matter how good he is, there will always be doubts since "he always drove in Mercedes", and that isn't even my line. Schumi won most in Ferrari, yes, but he also won two titles outside of Ferrari, one being in the Benetton B194, a car that in this scenario would be like winning with a title with a Ferrari vs Mercedes.

      • + 0
      • Dec 2 2019 - 06:02
    • JuJuHound

      Posts: 196

      B194 happened to be a great car since the developing started very early in 1993; Williams spent less time developing their 1994 car thats why they were having big problems at the beginning of the season. Senna's 3 PP were his class not the car which wasn't perfect. Senna was 1 lap ahead in Brazil of Hill just before spinning out. It shows how good he was in this unready car. Later on they got it and it worked fine. Untill then Schumi won many races and they had to give him 2 race ban to stop demolition of the rivals when Senna was not there anymore

      • + 0
      • Dec 2 2019 - 15:49
    • Development started early, yes, and it performed well. For Schumi it certainly did. However, the car was underpowered (for reference, their Cosworth engine was worth 740hp, while Williams' Renault units boasted 830hp) and was, according to its drivers, a pain to drive due to how twitchy the rear was. And despite it's flaws, the FW16B was a good car, and what the car cannot do, the extra 90hp can.

      • + 0
      • Dec 2 2019 - 17:50
  • Lewis in a Ferrari to see out his last 2 years would be perfect. It wouldn't undermine his legacy and legendary status at Mercedes - it would place him on another level of he could win a champs with a third team. much will depend on Ferraris progress next season - at the moment they could win a championship with a 50 point start - there's something wrong. I think it would involve quite a few people moving to the team to make that happen.

    • + 0
    • Dec 1 2019 - 21:29
  • Its a smart move by Hammy nevertheless to start the negotiations . He is gonna get a larger paycheck either with Ferrari or Mercedes. Its quite risky for him to replace Vettel. That 7th trophy to equal MS might be at risk.

    • + 0
    • Dec 1 2019 - 22:10
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 196

    It's nothing else than a bargain to get more money from Toto, Lewis is driving Mercedes cars since beginning of his F1 career and I don't believe he will go to Ferrari where in last couple years we see nothing else than a mess comparing to Mercedes' ORDNUNG MUSS SEIN

    • + 0
    • Dec 2 2019 - 10:10
  • Norbert

    Posts: 93

    Its pretty awkward to run a strong campaign when everyone thinks you've turned against them and they know already that you are going to another team. Gosh if FERRARI comes calling you and asks do you want to drive one of their race cars...Sheesh. Your sponsorships? You freeze and burble, stumble through something unintelligible that you can't remember later as the warm smooth voice on the other end of the line interjects and comforts you and says something like, "Nevermind. They make Saloon cars. We make only sports cars. Do you want to drive a real sports car, son? We need a boy like you." Hamham would have to go full Italian. Could hamham go full Italian?

    • + 0
    • Dec 4 2019 - 12:01

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