Lewis Hamilton advised to avoid ‘chaos’ of potential Ferrari move

Sam Cooper
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton greets Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur in the Formula 1 paddock at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku, 2023.

Fred Vasseur said he often speaks with Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton has been warned against a possible move to Ferrari as it would be one in which he plunges himself into “chaos.”

The future of Hamilton is looking increasingly uncertain with just five months left to go on his existing deal with Mercedes.

Judging by the words of both Hamilton and his boss Toto Wolff, it seems an extension is on its way but with it initially expected to be signed over the winter break, the delay has caused some to speculate the two parties are failing to agree on certain aspects.

Hamilton’s future was put into sharp focus in May when a report from a British tabloid and the Italian press suggested Ferrari were preparing a £40 million offer to entice Hamilton to Maranello.

There seems to be little truth in that with Wolff suggesting it was a story that had been placed in order to obstruct Mercedes’ negotiations and Hamilton has been warned not to consider a move to Ferrari even if he has previous experience of working with Fred Vasseur.

“I can’t imagine Ferrari is attractive to him,” F1 analyst Peter Windsor said during a livestream on his YouTube channel. “Obviously he did work with Fred Vasseur at ASM in his Formula Three days and knows him and Fred would have put out the feelers to him.

“But then if he doesn’t go to Ferrari and all the chaos, where is he going to go? He’s not going to get a Red Bull seat so he might as well stay where he is.”

Earlier in the season, a possible explanation for Hamilton’s delay would be he is waiting to see how well Mercedes would perform given their 2022 troubles and his desires to secure an eighth world title. Those fears would have been allayed a little with strong showings in Spain and Canada but Mercedes are still some way off Red Bull.

Windsor, though, believes Hamilton is “talking himself into” signing a new deal.

“I think Lewis is sort of talking himself into staying at Mercedes, isn’t he?” Windsor said. “You could argue that tonight [after the British GP], he’ll get on the plane back and he’ll be thinking ‘well look at McLaren, they’ve turned it around. We can do the same.’

“I’m sure there’s a lot of that going on at Mercedes and I think Lewis with these conversations with Toto afterwards was saying ‘McLaren is unbelievably good on those fast corners, that’s what we’ve got to do.’

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“But of course, it’s one thing to say ‘we want to be really quick on fast corners’, there’s another to be quick on fast corners and that’s a different story.”

There are two races to go until F1’s summer break and Windsor believed Hamilton would be best off waiting until after Hungary at least before making any kind of decision.

“I think, in all fairness to everybody, not that they will think this way, but I think they really need to see what happens in Hungary,” he said.

“If they [McLaren] are quantifiably quicker than all their opposition except Red Bull again, then we’ve got a new chapter in this whole book of what’s going on in 2023. Because then, that is a new story.”

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