Lewis Hamilton’s time with Mercedes could be coming to an end as Ferrari are preparing to offer the seven-time F1 world champion a massive contract to join the Scuderia.
Mercedes and Hamilton endured a torrid time in 2022 when the new F1 regulations were introduced, while the beginning to the 2023 season hasn’t seen many signs that the Silver Arrows will turn their fortunes around to give Hamilton a chance at winning an eighth drivers’ championship.
Now, according to the Mail Online, Ferrari are preparing a massive £40 million ($40.8m) deal for Hamilton, with the company’s Executive Chairman John Elkann said to be in close contact with Hamilton over a potential move.
Two options for Ferrari and Hamilton
Ferrari would ideally like to partner Hamilton with Charles Leclerc, which mean current driver Carlos Sainz would lose his seat at Maranello. However, there is a situation in which Sainz stays.
The second option Ferrari are considering is to let Leclerc leave the team, and pair Hamilton with Sainz. That would then mean Leclerc joins Mercedes and drives alongside George Russell.
It is believed that while Hamilton will be able to command an astronomical salary from either Mercedes or Ferrari, when negotiating his next deal, money isn’t a priority for the Brit.
Hamilton wants to win a record-setting eighth title and although Red Bull are the class of the F1 field right now, Ferrari are far closer to matching the Austrian team than Mercedes.
And given Hamilton is 38 years old, he doesn’t have too many seasons left challenging at the front of the grid.
Thus, Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes could reportedly be made simpler, or at least more likely, should the German team’s new upgrade package not perform as expected.
What has Hamilton said about Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton has been linked with a drive at Ferrari for some years now, particularly as something of a last-hurrah in F1 at the sports greatest ever team. And even as recently as 2022, the Brit admitted he was a Ferrari fan.
“Ferrari has shown that they know how to create a great car. And of course Charles [Leclerc] is very strong,” Hamilton told Italian newspaper the Corriere della Sera in 2022.
“By the way, I would add one thing, if I could sit down with the fans over there, I would support Charles. I’m a Ferrari fan. Of course it would have been nice to race for Ferrari during my career, but things happen for specific reasons.”
During an interview with Sky Sports F1 in 2021, Hamilton gushed about the Scuderia, branding a drive with Ferrari the ‘dream position’.
“Of course I look at the colour and the red, it’s just… it’s still the red,” Hamilton said.
“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.”
And back in 2019, Ferrari were linked with a move for Hamilton after a meeting between the Mercedes driver and Elkann at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.