Following his capture of a sixth Formula 1 World Championship this past season, there has been much speculation as to the long-term future of Lewis Hamilton, whose current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2020 campaign.
It has been widely speculated that Hamilton could make the jump to Ferrari for the 2021 season - and former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan has now spoken out, confirming that he believes there is substance to the rumours, labelling the move as "absolutely certain".
Thirty-four-year-old Hamilton enjoyed an immensely successful 2019 season, enjoying 11 Grand Prix victories on his way to lifting the Drivers' Championship.
Hamilton now sits just one title away from equalling Michael Schumacher's record of seven World Championships - and is a hot favourite to lift the crown for Mercedes again in 2020.
However, Jordan has stated that he believes Hamilton's mooted move to Ferrari is inevitable.
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"It would be the right time for Lewis to go to Ferrari [in 2021]. He’s coming to the end of his career, but he still wants to win his seven or more titles," said Jordan, via GPToday.net.
Jordan's confident prediction is based largely on the fact that the contract of Toto Wolff, executive director at Mercedes, also expires alongside that of Hamilton - and the Irishman believes that the pair are likely to move to Ferrari at the end of next season as a package, reasoning that Hamilton would likely only agree to a deal if he had the security of Wolff moving alongside him.
"The real belief that I think Lewis will go to Ferrari in 2021 is that Toto Wolff’s contract expires at the end of next year. He knows Mercedes’ long-term future in Formula 1 is not a certainty. Indeed, Lewis has mentioned Toto’s contract on more than one occasion, which is unusual for an F1 driver to do.
"Lewis would only go to Ferrari if someone could protect him against any possibility that Charles Leclerc could usurp him. So Ferrari would bring Toto along too."
Since moving to Mercedes from Williams in 2013, 47-year-old Austrian Wolff has enjoyed great success - achieving a winning percentage of some 66% and Jordan was unequivocal in his belief that Wolff would be a key acquisition for Ferrari if the deal were to go through.
“What they don’t have is that person on the pit wall to guide the team, in terms of how they structure the race strategy. Toto knows that. Racing is in his blood, and he’d love to have a name like Ferrari on his CV too,” suggested Jordan.
I’m absolutely certain that in 2021, Lewis Hamilton will move to Ferrari. Toto goes with him, because as I said, Lewis won’t leave himself exposed, and it will be his way of bringing an equaliser.
"Do Ferrari need two number ones? No, but they won’t let go of Leclerc.”
A loss of two men as influential as Hamilton and Wolff would be disastrous for Mercedes and could well lead to the team considering its own future in the sport.
Conversely, though, should Ferrari pick up both Hamilton and Wolff, it would be a huge statement as they seek to once again establish themselves as the top team in the sport.News Now - Sport News