Lewis Hamilton was one lap away from a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 world championship crown in 2021 and he is still chasing that elusive title.
Mercedes’ disappointing 2022, and lack of development heading into 2023, makes a championship look extremely unlikely under the current regulations but Hamilton seems insistent on staying with the Brackley-based team.
Over in Milton Keynes, meanwhile, Max Verstappen has secured two titles in a row and can only be stopped in 2023 by his teammate, Sergio Perez, considering Red Bull’s serious pace advantage over the rest of the grid.
So if the great Hamilton wants to add another world championship to his tally, where could he go to achieve it? Total Motorsport takes a look at three options…
Red Bull dream team
Deep down, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko probably know that Perez isn’t going to win the world championship without something terrible happening to Verstappen.
So if they want to light the F1 Twitter world on fire, they could team up the two best drivers of this generation for one big battle for glory.
It would likely take something extraordinary for Hamilton to join Red Bull given his battles with them throughout the years but if he is desperate to break the record, then that’s the only place he has a chance to do so right now.
There is always something rather poetic about a big name joining Ferrari as we saw with Fernando Alonso in 2010 and then Sebastian Vettel in 2015.
The Scuderia have not won the drivers’ title since 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen – when Hamilton ended one point behind in his rookie year in F1 – and the Tifosi have waited long enough.
The current regime at Maranello is nothing short of a circus right now even if Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz is a fairly strong lineup on paper. Hamilton would just add that X-Factor and winning mentality that the prancing horses are lacking.
If the Brit could go and remind the Italians how to win, then a romantic eighth in scarlet red is a distinct possibility.
Audi’s leading light
Jumping from one German giant to another isn’t a move that is seen often in motorsport with drivers usually sticking with their alliance but Audi’s arrival in F1 in 2026 could change all of that.
If the four rings come in and can immediately be up the sharp end then Hamilton will have to consider it an option as his last throw of the dice.
It is still in the balance as to whether the 37-year-old will remain in F1 for that long and Audi may not want a driver on the brink of retirement anyway but for a one-season wonder, there are worse options on the gird.