Lewis Hamilton avoided Ferrari contract option owing to Italy-specific problem – “I never felt ready to do that”

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he has had ‘casual conversations’ with the Ferrari management, but expressed his main reservations over making a move to the Maranello.

The seven-time world champion has been with Mercedes for a number of years now, but his remarkable performances for the Silver Arrows along with his great marketability has meant that he has often been a top prospect for the team’s competitors.

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: cnn.com
Lewis Hamilton. Credit: cnn.com

Hamilton himself has spoken about how he has been a childhood fan of Ferrari and when you show such appreciation for a team, it is natural that their bigwigs will look to swoop in and put an offer on the table.

However, the Stevenage-born driver’s main reservations over making a switch to Ferrari lies in the geographical location of the team’s headquarters, with Hamilton not enthused about the prospect of setting up base in Italy.

Speaking with Blick, Hamilton said that although Ferrari never gave him a concrete contract offer, the team’s hierarchy has been in regular contact with him for a number of years.

Hamilton has special reservations against spending the twilight of his career in Italy, which is why he never followed up on this interest.

“I’m sure we’ve had a few casual conversations,” Hamilton said.

“I know a lot of good people there. But I never felt ready to move to Italy.”

Why did Hamilton take so long to sign the Mercedes contract extension?

After that, Hamilton also wanted to get rid of any confusion surrounding his future at Mercedes, insisting that ‘promotional activities’ have so far delayed the deal.

Hamilton agreed that while it is not the first time that he has been in intense deliberations about his contract with team principal Toto Wolff, it is only because both parties want to find the best solution.

“This is not the first time that the two of us discussed for hours and haggled over details,” Hamilton said.

“Always under the motto: From Thursday to Sunday, I belong exclusively to Formula 1.

“There are so many details about my promotional activities. I’m in a happy position with Toto. He is respected and admired by everyone. It’s easy to negotiate with him. And that makes him a great leader.”

Hamilton does not want to leave any details of the contract to chance or oversight and said that he has personally read all 200 pages of the offer letter.

“Of course, I want to know exactly what’s in there,” said Hamilton.

“But now it’s over 200 pages, or a f**king book. And that takes you days!”

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