Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has offered arguably the biggest hint yet that Lewis Hamilton might decide to end his Formula 1 career at Ferrari.
The five-time world champion has driven for Mercedes since 2013 and is currently on a £40 million-a-season contract until the end of next year, although Wolff has admitted that the prestige of Ferrari may prove too difficult to resist.
“We have to acknowledge that is in every driver’s head to drive for Ferrari,” he said ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, according to The Telegraph. “It is the most iconic marque in Formula 1, even within the team we have discussed it.
“You have to be open-minded – drivers will explore these opportunities. We have always been very transparent with Lewis on this discussion.”
Hamilton has been linked to Ferrari throughout his career and is believed to have a personal attachment to the Italian stalwarts. The 34-year-old owns several Ferrari cars and his father Anthony has also implied that he wants to drive for them one day.
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Wolff suggested that the decision may come down to a battle between his head and heart.
“I understand it perfectly. On the other hand, Mercedes has a great story and we have renewed the glories of the past, something Lewis is proud of,” he continued.
“Nobody knows the future. I hope he finishes his career by winning more titles with us, but I know everyone has the desire to go with the redhead.
“We would love him to stay. If ever we part, it will be very positive, no drama.”
Some have suggested that a potential stumbling block to a Ferrari move for Hamilton is the presence of his long-term rival Sebastian Vettel, although Wolff did not dismiss the idea of a Hamilton-Vettel swap.
“Why not Sebastian?” he revealed. “I think you need to consider there are probably six or seven drivers out there that have the skill and the intelligence to deserve to be in a race and championship winning car. Sebastian is definitely one of them.”
For the time being, Hamilton looks set to battle his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas for this year’s World Championship.
The pair became the first to earn four consecutive one-twos at the start of a season in Azerbaijan and true to form they occupy the first two spots in the grid for today’s race.News Now - Sport News