Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari talks: Why he stayed put at Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his third position with the Ferrari team (motorsportoweek.com)

The Ferrari temptation
During the early months of 2023, Formula 1 fans were abuzz with speculation about Lewis Hamilton’s potential move to Ferrari. The seven-time champion’s future was a hot topic as Mercedes grappled with struggles under the latest regulations. However, Hamilton recently revealed that, despite numerous discussions, a move to the iconic Italian team never materialized. In an exclusive interview with Swiss outlet Blick, Hamilton stated, “Never. Okay, we’ve definitely had a few irrelevant conversations. I know a lot of good people there. But I never felt ready to move to Italy.”

The Mercedes extension
In a twist of events, it was announced just ahead of the Italian Grand Prix that Lewis Hamilton had agreed to a two-year contract extension with Mercedes, keeping him with the team until the end of 2025. This resolution came after months of negotiations, with Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff once suggesting that an agreement was “more days than weeks” away. The delay, it turns out, was related to discussions about Hamilton’s marketing commitments. Hamilton shared, “There are so many details about my promotional activities. I’m in a fortunate position with Toto. He is respected and admired by everyone. It’s easy to negotiate with him. And that makes him a great leader.”

The modern era contracts
Lewis Hamilton, who made his Formula 1 debut in 2007, reflected on how contracts have evolved in the modern era. He revealed that contracts have grown substantially in length and complexity compared to his early days as a rookie at McLaren. When asked if he personally reads the contents of his contracts, Hamilton responded, “Of course I want to know exactly what’s in there. But now it’s over 200 pages or a damn book. And that takes you days!” Additionally, Hamilton dismissed the idea of taking a sabbatical and returning, akin to Fernando Alonso, firmly stating, “That won’t happen to me. When it’s over, it’s over. I can’t imagine standing in the paddock or garage without then getting into a car. But as I said before: never say never.”

In the world of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton’s career decisions and insights continue to captivate fans and pundits alike. While a move to Ferrari may have been the stuff of dreams for some, Hamilton’s commitment to Mercedes and his dedication to the sport remain unwavering.