Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has heavily been linked with a move to Ferrari amidst his struggles at the Silver Arrows over the past year.
It is no secret that Hamilton is now into the twilight of his career and any opportunity of winning an elusive eighth world championship will need to come before it’s too late.
Reports have suggested that Ferrari has tried to lure the seven-time world champion to feature alongside Charles Leclerc to form a ‘dream partnership‘.
There is no truth to this, according to reputed Italian journalist Piergiuseppe Donadoni, who believes the Maranello have other plans.
Nessuna offerta Ferrari a Hamilton, men che meno di oltre 40 milioni di euro. Ferrari pronta a velocizzare/chiudere in pochi mesi il rinnovo di Leclerc. Il monegasco avrà la stessa fretta di chiudere l'accordo? Importante ricordarsi come Elkann ha chiuso con Vettel.#Formu1a #F1— Piergiuseppe Donadoni (@SmilexTech) May 24, 2023
It was previously believed that Ferrari chief John Elkann was hell bent on making Hamilton the team’s top priority to link up with Leclerc and thereby put an end to Carlos Sainz’ journey.
However, those at the board are not entirely convinced about signing Hamilton despite his highly decorated career.
Donadoni believes that Ferrari has already invested a lot in Charles Leclerc and the team completely backs its driver to spearhead a successful turn in fortunes.
Allowing Hamilton the chance at Ferrari could curb the development of Leclerc.
Moreover, Leclerc needs to be offered a new contract as well, one that is unlikely to be a miserly affair.
With Ferrari already invested in making Leclerc a world champion, Donadoni says that there is no chance Ferrari will slump the reported $50 million on Hamilton.
“No Ferrari offer to Hamilton, let alone more than 40 million euros. Ferrari is ready to speed up / close the renewal of Leclerc in a few months. Will the Monegasque be in the same hurry to close the deal? It is important to remember how Elkann closed with Vettel,” Donadoni wrote on Twitter.
We are just in the second race weekend of the season and people already wanna bring out George Russell is better than Lewis Hamilton comparison, go out , touch some grass, go for a hike, enjoy life #SaudiArabianGP— ahmed baokbah 🇸🇦🏎✈️ (@ahmed_baokbah) March 18, 2023
If this is indeed the case, it could end Hamilton’s ‘dream’ of featuring for Ferrari.
It may also have significant implications for him going forward.
Mercedes will get the upper hand in negotiations with Hamilton if the Ferrari deal fails to go through.
Hamilton can obviously choose to retire from the sport altogether, but given his recent claims of feeling even hungrier to perform, that may not be his chosen path.
The meteoric rise of George Russell, who beat Hamilton in his first season at the Silver Arrows, has also divided the backroom staff on the best way forward.
While some believe that Hamilton still has what it takes to cut it out at the top, others have ‘begged‘ him to call time on his Mercedes tenure.
Either way, it is highly likely that Hamilton will feature in F1 next season. The colours he will be sporting on race day next season will start to get clearer by winter time.