Lewis Hamilton could join Ferrari and the chances of it happening are very real.
The world champion has held talks with chairman John Elkann according to the team’s chief executive Louis Carey Camilleri about signing up for the F1 giants in just over a year’s time.
F1 expert Roy Brindley believes there is a great possibility of Hamilton making the switch.
“They say every F1 driver wants to drive the ‘red car’ during their career and more so be a world champion in it,” he told The Sportsman.
“There will be sweeping regulation changes in 2021 and while the big teams are sure to continue to dominate, if he believes Ferrari will have the faster car he will surely head there.”
He has made a similar move before but Brindley insists money won’t come into the equation. It will be based on his chances of success.
“He joined Mercedes in 2013 because Niki Lauda assured him their 2014 car would be a winner," he said.
“If Ferrari do the same, I know one thing, he’s not going to be swayed by an extra five million here or there in his pay-packet.
“His hunger for success cannot be questioned. Motivation to be a world champion in a Ferrari would certainly do no harm.”
Of course, it would be a huge deal for Ferrari to have the man who is aiming for a record-equalling seventh title in 2020, among their ranks.
"The Italian team last had a world champion winning driver in 2007 (Raikkonen) and before the ‘Schumacher years’ (2000-2004) it is forty years since they had their own world champion driver (Jody Scheckter, 1979)."
While Hamilton is expected to replace Sebastian Vettel, they have always seemed friendly enough off the track – albeit they are very different characters. Brindley says his possible match-up with the young Charles Leclerc is an interesting one.
“This is a bizarre area as Ferrari have employed a tactic of ‘star driver’ accompanied by ‘whipping boy’ for decades,”
“Schumacher had Irvine and then Barrichello to proverbially ‘s*** on’ for years. Then Massa had the ‘pigeon/statue’ relationship with Alonso. Latterly Vettel got to embarrass Raikkonen every race weekend. Between them Raikkonen (2014-18) and Massa (2009-13) went over 180 races winning just once.
“Maybe the policy has changed, maybe LeClerc simply proved to be a lot quicker than they expected and he then refused to play second fiddle towards the end of the year.”
It seems this one could happen but the finish line is some way off.