Coulthard: Hamilton will retire at Mercedes and wouldn't suit Ferrari

‘I just think he’s made for British teams. He’ll be at Mercedes or he’ll retire’: David Coulthard believes six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t suit ‘culture’ at Ferrari… and bringing Sebastian Vettel in as 2021 team-mate would be a ‘mistake’

  • Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari exit has kick-started more talk of Lewis Hamilton going
  • David Coulthard believes six-time champion Hamilton will retire at Mercedes
  • He says Hamilton doesn’t suit the ‘culture’ of team like Ferrari, much like himself
  • Coulthard also believes Mercedes signing Vettel could ‘disrupt’ team’s success

Racing legend David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton will finish his career at Mercedes amid sustained links to Ferrari and a big-money team change.

Hamilton is a six-time world champion with Mercedes, but Sebastian Vettel’s impending Ferrari exit – announced this week – once again set the wheels in motion for discussions regarding the Brit’s future.

It has now been revealed that Carlos Sainz will take the Ferrari seat for 2021, and Coulthard believes Hamilton will never leave Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton will not leave Mercedes to join a non-British team, says David Coulthard 

Coulthard, pictured last year, believes – like him – Hamilton wouldn’t suit the Italian culture 

Speaking exclusively to Sportsmail, when asked if Hamilton could even join Ferrari Coulthard said: ‘No. I don’t think so. Lewis Hamilton has been with Mercedes for most of his career, certainly with Mercedes power, initially with McLaren and now with Mercedes. I just think he’s made for British teams. 

‘Even if he did leave Mercedes, I just don’t see him fitting in with the culture at an Italian-based team. I say that as someone who had a contract offered to me to race with Ferrari, in 1996, and in the end I just felt more comfortable with British teams. 

‘I’m not being disrespectful or nationalistic, I just don’t think I would have fitted in, and I think that’s the case with Lewis. He fits better with Mercedes. I think he’ll be there, or he’ll retire.’

Vettel moving the other way has now been mooted, with the German now left to find himself a team for the 2021 season. Given other driver changes around the grid, Renault and Mercedes seem the two most-likely destinations, but Coulthard believes the latter would be making a wrong decision by opting for a change.

Sebastian Vettel (right) is being replaced by Carlos Sainz at Ferrari for the 2021 season

Coulthard believes Mercedes shouldn’t hire Vettel as a way to push Hamilton to the next level 

‘I think that would be a mistake for Mercedes,’ he said. ‘In Lewis, they’ve got someone who can win Grands Prix and Championships. To bring Seb in there because you think that that will raise Lewis’ game… it’s very difficult.

‘If you look at these exceptional performances in sport, serial winners, I don’t think he needs the friction of a four-time world champion to get the best out of him. I think Vettel could be disruptive to the team.

‘I think that if he offered his services for no money then of course the Mercedes board would have to look at it seriously, to have a German driver in the team, but I just can’t imagine he would, so the pairing of Valtteri and Lewis seems like the most efficient way to win another Championship.

‘Both drivers can’t win, there’s never been a dead heat in a Grand Prix, so you’re only going to end up with problems that history have shown when you have two strong personalities in one team.’

Coulthard (left) will take on the likes of Nico Rosberg (right) and Roberto Carlos (2R) on Sunday

Coulthard was speaking to Sportsmail ahead of this Sunday’s Heineken Legends Race, in which he will take on the likes of Nico Rosberg, Roberto Carlos and Robert Doornbos from the comfort of his own home.

The leading F1 sponsor have sent a simulator to the Brit’s Monaco apartment, enabling him to take part in an Grand Prix remotely. That said, Coulthard doesn’t much fancy his chances of a place on the podium. 

‘Things have moved on a little bit since I was in the games arcade putting 20p in a machine called “Pole Position”. I don’t know how the hell I managed to be a Grand Prix driver, I can barely switch this thing on,’ he joked. 

‘It arrived yesterday, so I’m currently getting comfortable in the seat. My 11-year-old son walked away in embarrassment when I had a little practice earlier, so I’ve now got no family support. 

”If you’re looking to me for advice, you’re in deep s***’.       

David Coulthard is taking part in the F1 Esports #ChallengeHeinekenLegends, at 18.00 BST on Sunday 17th May. Tune in to F1.com’s YouTube, Twitch or Facebook this Sunday to follow the action live. 




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Flirting between Hamilton and Ferrari might turn into a real romance

JONATHAN MCEVOY: With Sebastian Vettel’s departure now official, the flirting between Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari might just turn into a real romance if they can afford him in post-lockdown Formula One

  • Sebastian Vettel announced he will walk away from Ferrari at end of the season
  • It has reignited talk that Lewis Hamilton could soon swap Mercedes for Ferrari
  • Ferrari could go ahead by signing from a list of good ‘No 2s’ led by Carlos Sainz
  • Many would argue the Italian giants already have their No 1 in Charles Leclerc 
  • But can Ferrari and six-time world champion Hamilton resist each other? 

Sebastian Vettel has announced that he is leaving Ferrari, so what will Lewis Hamilton do? The fluttering eyelashes, which have entranced him on and off all his life, are there catching his attention at home in lockdown California.

Officially, the line from Maranello is that he is not in their thoughts, and it may well be that they go ahead with the much less dramatic signing from a list of good ‘No 2s’ led by Carlos Sainz of McLaren.

But Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is the greatest racer in the world, and Ferrari are the sport’s most beguiling and successful team in history.

Could six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton make the switch from Mercedes to Ferrari?

Sebastian Vettel announced he is leaving Italian giants Ferrari at the end of the 2020 season

Can either resist the other?

It would certainly be a middle-management fudge if Ferrari did not seek to enlist the six-time world champion to write another chapter in the fabled stories of team and driver.

Some will say the Scuderia already have their No 1 in Charles Leclerc, whose precocious talent has, one way and another, sealed Vettel’s departure. But the 22-year-old Monegasque is a good performer, perhaps a very good one, but the extent of his capabilities are only partially known after one year in red.

He could not be compared to Hamilton, a driver who arrived like a starburst in 2007 and has rewritten the record books ever since.

Sources within Ferrari indicate that they tested the Brit out a year ago, but that they have since transferred their sights to supporting Lelcerc, as their man for the future as well as for now.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz leads the list of good ‘No 2s’ that Ferrari could potentially sign

Many would argue Ferrari already have their No 1 in Charles Leclerc – tipped for a huge future

There does, however, remain the chance that Hamilton could yet sway them by making a telephone call to John Elkann, the Ferrari chairman, who has spoken to the driver before about the potential of his joining.

Yes, finance may come into it in these straightened times of coronavirus. Sainz, a decent peddler and perhaps a bit more, would move for £10million or so a year, minimally a third of what it would take to shift Hamilton from Mercedes.

Hamilton, 35, has said that he values his long ties with Mercedes. Fine up to a point. But that was before the bloody doors were blown off today.

We will have to wait and see. All we know for sure is that a seat is available at Ferrari next year, that Hamilton has not signed a contract extension beyond this season with Mercedes. 

And that there would be nothing more romantic in Formula One than him chasing a seventh or eighth world title in a red car, gunning for Michael Schumacher’s last testaments of brilliance.

Hamilton battles it out with Ferrari driver Vettel during the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix




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