The move of the century
For a few weeks now there has been a market rumor that comes up from time to time, being constantly denied by those directly involved but without ever stopping the media or paddock insiders from discussing it: Lewis Hamilton, whose current contract with Mercedes is set to expire at the end of the 2023 Formula 1 championship, would in fact be really considering about moving to Scuderia Ferrari.
All the parties involved deny this information, from Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, passing through the top management of Scuderia Ferrari, who underline how both Maranello drivers – Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – have an existing contract with the Prancing Horse until the end of the 2024 F1 campaign.
Gerhard Berger’s comments
Yet now the rumors are also starting to come from different sources. Initially only a few English commentators and a small part of the Italian media reported on this sensational possibility. Now the intriguing idea, which would be the most important one in terms of F1 driver market, has also been discussed in Austria. Gerhard Berger, former McLaren, Benetton and Ferrari driver, whose name was also included in the possible candidates for the role of team principal after the departure of Mattia Binotto, has in fact opened the door to the sensational move. According to the ex #28 of Scuderia Ferrari, a clear motivation for Lewis Hamilton could be represented by doing what his great idol, Ayrton Senna, failed to do.
The link with Ayrton Senna
“Every driver wants to drive for Ferrari at least once” – Gerhard Berger pointed out in an interview for the Kronen Zeitung website – “And almost all the top drivers have been there. Ayrton Senna did not go to the Scuderia because he thought: ‘I will never be able to win there’. Maybe Lewis thinks so too. But if he doesn’t get a competitive car from Mercedes and can’t get a place at Red Bull, then he might think: ‘I don’t want to quit yet, I want to try again with Ferrari’.” The fact that such an idea is expressed like this by a person who was very close to the figure of Ayrton Senna can be an interesting clue.
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Even the constant denials, coming from Lewis Hamilton himself, according to Gerhard Berger should not be taken too literally. As evidenced by last year’s driver market, in fact, the twist could be around the corner and nobody wants to reveal their cards in advance. “Lewis constantly emphasizes that he would never leave his family in Mercedes, but that doesn’t mean anything in Formula 1 – concluded the Austrian – nobody reveals their cards in this sport” – the former Ferrari driver concluded.