Lewis Hamilton previews 2023 Miami Grand Prix
Links between Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari are heating up as the seven-time F1 world champion continues to stall on signing a new contract at Mercedes. The Brit already has a close ally at the Prancing Horse, and ‘contact’ has reportedly been established to leave Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff in a sticky situation.
Hamilton publicly maintains that he wants to finish his career with Mercedes, and Wolff has confidently stated that the 38-year-old will put pen to paper over the next few weeks. That was at the beginning of May, and there is still no sign of Hamilton signing on the dotted line.
According to The Daily Mail, Ferrari are set to offer him a way out of Mercedes, who have only notched one Grand Prix victory since 2021. The Prancing Horse have made a troubled start to this season, but Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz won four races between them last year.
With Hamilton believed to be mulling over the blockbuster £40million-a-year offer, ‘close contact’ has reportedly been established with Ferrari executive chairman John Elkann.
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The Italian business magnate is believed to be an ‘ally’ of Hamilton’s, with the pair warmly embracing every time they meet. Ferrari’s hierarchy is complex, but Elkann is likely to hold sway over the team’s driver line-up.
Team principal Frederic Vasseur does not necessarily have the final say, which could leave Sainz at risk. The Spaniard is ahead of Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship, but many Prancing Horse fans view the Monegasque as a future world champion.
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Conversations at Ferrari are reportedly ‘advancing’ as Hamilton approaches the expiry of his contract, which would give him freedom over what the future holds ahead of the 2024 season. Many believed that the F1 veteran would have to stay put at Mercedes due to a lack of options elsewhere.
The prospect of him joining bitter rivals Red Bull to partner former title foe Max Verstappen appear slim, while Aston Martin are relishing the duo of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, with the latter’s father owning a stake in the team.
Speaking back in 2021, Hamilton admitted to Sky Sports that the thought of never driving for Ferrari would be ‘crazy’, adding: “Of course I look at the colour and the red, it’s just… it’s still the red.
“I have a couple of Ferraris at home, so I do get to drive a Ferrari, just not the one! For everyone that’s a dream position to be in. It was just never really fully on the cards for me. I’ll never know fully exactly why, but I wish them all the best.”
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