Hamilton should still consider F1 move to Ferrari, claims Brundle
Lewis Hamilton should still consider moving to Ferrari, claims Martin Brundle as Mercedes’ future in Formula One remains in doubt
- Lewis Hamilton is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of the season
- Silver Arrows remain coy on how long they will commit to an F1 programme
- Martin Brundle encouraged the world champion to keep his Ferrari options open
- Brundle believes the veteran 35-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down
Martin Brundle has urged Lewis Hamilton to seriously consider a switch to Ferrari as he enters the final phase of his Formula One career.
Hamilton is in the final year of his Mercedes contract but finds his path to the Maranello outfit blocked for at least the 2021 season, with rising star Charles Leclerc tied down to a long term deal and Carlos Sainz joining from McLaren to replace Sebastian Vettel.
But with Mercedes’ future in the sport far from clear along with that of team principal Toto Wolff, who may depart at the end of the season, Brundle encouraged the six-times world champion to keep his Ferrari options open.
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton will be out of contract with Mercedes at the end of the season
‘I doubt Sainz has got anything locked down in terms of anything beyond one season,’ Brundle told Sportsmail.
‘If Toto left Mercedes and they rowed back a bit with the global pandemic issues and cost cuts coming in F1, the whole scene is changing, then I think his [Hamilton’s] mind might have to turn again to have a look at Ferrari. I would if I was him.
‘I’ve spoken to him about being dressed in red and standing on that podium at Monza and looking at the crowd in Ferrari overalls. He said ‘I love red, I’ve got red in my crash helmet, it’s the colour of passion’ but his stock answer was ‘I’ve raced for Mercedes all of my F1 career.’
Mercedes’ future in the sport remains unclear, along with that of team boss Toto Wolff (left)
‘Think about it commercially, he can be an ambassador forever for that company so it would be a lot to walk away from.’
Brundle though admitted such a move was not without risk, referring to Michael Schumacher’s underwhelming three years at Mercedes from 2010 having previously spent 11 seasons at Ferrari prior to his initial 2006 retirement.
Hamilton though has been Mercedes powered throughout his career since he was taken under the McLaren wing by then team boss Ron Dennis as a junior karter.
Hamilton has never been shy about his passion for ‘red’ as he observes a Ferrari car during the 2015 season at the Russian Grand Prix
Standing on the podium, Charles Leclerc enjoyed one of the highlights of his young career so far when as a Ferrari driver he triumphed at Monza to win his team’s home grand prix in Italy
Brundle claims that leaving all that history behind for the temptation of driving for the legendary Ferrari outfit could easily turn sour through no fault of his own, referring to the under-performance of the team in the last decade despite having world champion quality drivers.
‘It would be nice to see but Michael Schumacher was a Ferrari hero then he went to Mercedes and broke that link to Ferrari and it didn’t work out,’ the former McLaren driver continued.
‘Lewis has got to step away from a company he has been involved with all his professional career and you would really have to think long and hard about that, just for the romance of being a Ferrari driver.
‘And where are Ferrari at? Are they going to give him a winning car or is he going to end up frustrated like Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel?’
Michael Schumacher left 11 seasons of his Ferrari legacy behind when he came out of retirement to join Mercedes in 2010 for what proved to be a disappointing three-year spell
The new Formula One season gets underway on Sunday with the Austrian Grand Prix following the coronavirus pandemic which saw the postponement or cancellation of the first nine races of the season.
Although Brundle reflected on Hamilton being aware he is heading into the winter of his career and that motorsport had become more geared towards younger drivers, he did not feel the 35-year-old was showing any sign of slowing down. The Briton heads into the new season looking to defend his world championship and equal Schumacher’s record total of seven titles.
‘He is aware that he is in the last phase of his career,’ the Sky Sports commentator added.
‘When I was racing in F1 the top guys could race into their 40s and were still winning. But there was less data back then and experience counted for more. We didn’t have sensors on cars or the simulators.
Brundle (left) has urged Hamilton to seriously consider switching to Ferrari as he enters the ‘last phase’ of his career
‘The cars were animals to drive and the driver was much more involved in setting them up using experience. You had to coax an F1 car towards the end of the race. You had to mind the gears, gearbox, the brakes the drive shaft, the clutch etc.
‘Experience counted. Now the cars are much stronger much faster. I think it has become a younger man’s sport – younger women as well hopefully soon but Lewis doesn’t seem to age. But will Lewis be doing this in his 40s? No he won’t.
‘I see him doing one more contract but he has more to offer yet. When you see him all chiselled in his social media pictures… you need motivation to get like that ahead of a season. I have not seen anything that suggests he is ready to stop but an awful lot has happened in the last few months.’
Watch every race live on Sky Sports F1 and NOWTV from 5th July’
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