As much as Lewis Hamilton is thought of in the same breath as Mercedes in Formula 1 terms, he isn’t getting anywhere near that elusive eighth title at Brackley.
The Brit has stood and watched Max Verstappen and Red Bull waltz to their second successive drivers’ title in 2022 while fighting a horrid Mercedes car that is now set for a total overhaul.
The RB19 seems to be virtually untouchable and there are no obvious signs that Mercedes will catch them up anytime soon, but there is one team within distance… just.
Ferrari could be the answer to Hamilton’s prayers, giving him one last shot at rivalling Verstappen before he leaves F1 for good.
And the Prancing Horse seems to think so too as they have already been in contact with Hamilton over a move to Maranello as early as next season.
Race pace may still be a struggle for Ferrari but it has only been their own issues causing them to drop to fourth in the constructors’ standings behind Mercedes and Aston Martin.
Charles Leclerc proved how quick the Ferrari can be in the right conditions by taking both pole positions in Azerbaijan (one for the sprint and one for the Grand Prix).
Nobody else has been able to get remotely close to Red Bull at any other time so that seems to suggest that the Ferrari is the second fastest car out there right now.
The main issue, as mentioned, is that the Scuderia have a tendency to put up their own hurdles and they often find themselves falling over them.
But Hamilton‘s experience could change that mentality and make the most famous and historic F1 team great again.
Hamilton and Leclerc to swap?
The opportunity might come up very soon too because not only is Ferrari keen but Leclerc is not exactly thrilled with the team at the moment.
The Monegasque isn’t totally free of blame for the woeful start to the season he has endured but there is no doubting his speed behind the wheel.
If Hamilton wants to go and Leclerc needs an exit route from Maranello, then maybe a straight swap between the two would be the ideal outcome for all parties.
And nobody needs that swap to happen more than Hamilton if he wants to claim title number eight.