Lewis Hamilton discusses his experience with race in Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton received a double approach from Ferrari chiefs to try to convince him to leave Mercedes as his future remains up in the air ahead of next season. The seven-time world champion has been tenuously linked with the Italian manufacturer for several years and reports in Italy suggest the Briton has held conversations with two senior Ferrari officials about the possibility of joining them, but Hamilton has snubbed the chance to move to Maranello.
Hamilton’s £40million-a-year contract with the Silver Arrows expires at the end of the season and, despite insisting several months ago that his new deal was virtually agreed with Toto Wolff, it remains unsigned in the eyes of the public.
With more uncertainty clouding the 38-year-old’s future with the Brackley-based team, Hamilton has reportedly received a contract offer from Ferrari after two attempts were made to convince him to join by chairman John Elkann and team principal Fred Vasseur.
Italian outlet QN Motori report Elkann made contact with Hamilton on a ‘personal’ level to discuss the possibility of joining the Scuderia. However, Hamilton is said to have politely declined the opportunity, telling the American ‘no thanks’.
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Elkann is the CEO of Exor, the holding company of Italy’s Agnelli family, which owns stakes in Ferrari and Italian automaker Fiat. He is known to be a powerbroker within the Italian giant’s organisation and his attempts to recruit Hamilton will come as no surprise given his ambitions for the team.
According to Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS), Elkann isn’t the only employee to have approached Hamilton about the prospect of joining Ferrari, with Vasseur continuing their charm offensive to line up Hamilton alongside the Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc.
Vasseur worked with Hamilton during his junior years before he reached F1, racing with the ART Grand Prix team, and had a crucial hand in giving him a platform to race with McLaren in 2007. And the pair are said to maintain a solid friendship 18 years later in the paddock, with the Frenchman offering Hamilton the chance to link up with him again.
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Hamilton is seen as an ideal driver to lead the team in place of Carlos Sainz, who is more likely to be replaced than Leclerc, with widespread reports claiming the Spaniard has agreed a deal to join Audi for 2025.
But even with the prospect of earning more money, Ferrari are behind Mercedes in terms of race pace and may struggle to convince the 103-time race winner he can end his 20-month wait for a victory with them.
Alex Albon has also been heavily linked with Ferrari and, if they cannot convince Hamilton to sign with them as he ponders his Mercedes future, the Thai-British driver would certainly represent a more realistic option as he currently drives for Williams.
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