Ferrari should go great guns and “drop the bomb” to sign Lewis Hamilton as a replacement for Charles Leclerc, according to Dutch racing driver Tom Coronel.
The touring car and Le Mans veteran believes Leclerc has “lost his way” with the Scuderia and, while Hamilton has made it clearer in recent days that staying at Mercedes is his most likely next move, Coronel thinks Ferrari should go all out to try and sign him nonetheless – even if it means paying “20 million too much”.
Hamilton’s future had been the subject of rumour, with his current deal up at the end of the year, after a report emerged that Ferrari were interested in the seven-time World Champion’s signature, but Hamilton and Scuderia team boss Fred Vasseur both insisted that no contact had been made in either direction.
With Leclerc having struggled at the weekend, failing to make it out of Q1 and not getting into the points at all in Barcelona, Coronel thinks Ferrari should do everything they can to try and rock the boat in search of a way forward, and Hamilton could be the answer.
“You can see it – he’s lost his way,” Coronel said to Viaplay of Leclerc’s Spain struggles. “They have to make a choice at Ferrari that shakes things up.
“A rumour is really cool, but for all I care I think they should pay Lewis 20 million too much to get him. Then at least something happens in that team to give them a bit of positivity.
“They need someone like Lewis because the package they have is wrong. So, start with this – drop the bomb. Because they need something new.”
Former Formula 1 driver Christijan Albers believes Leclerc’s inconsistency in race conditions is what has been costing him in his time as a Ferrari driver so far, with five race victories compared to 19 pole positions in his career to date.
He compared Leclerc to the World Champions on the grid in terms of how metronomic they are in race conditions, and the Dutchman does not see that from the Ferrari driver at the moment.
“They thought they had the new winner in Leclerc,” Albers said. “He’s a monster in qualifying, but in the race it’s always 50-50 – you never know where you stand and it’s never consistent.
“If you then look at a Fernando Alonso, a Max [Verstappen], a Lewis Hamilton, all their lap times are within a few tenths of each other.
“If you then look at a Carlos Sainz or a Sergio Perez or a Leclerc, then it’s more like a casino.”