It looked almost inevitable that Lewis Hamilton would extend his stay at Mercedes in 2021 despite his contract negotiations taking longer than expected.
However, the British driver has not always been so loyal to the Silver Arrows, according to media reports.
Hamilton has enjoyed tremendous success in Formula 1, equalling the record for most championships alongside Michael Schumacher.
Interestingly, he has always competed in Mercedes-powered engines, even when he was with McLaren.
His first world title came just two years into the sport and as McLaren’s reign began to come to an end, he joined Mercedes at the opportune time.
In his last seven seasons at Mercedes, Hamilton has won six world titles, losing on one occasion to Nico Rosberg.
Although he has been vocal many times in the past about being happy at Mercedes, F1 reporter Will Buxton believes he has held talks with some of the team’s biggest rivals.
“Has Lewis had conversations with Ferrari? You bet,” Buxton said.
“Has he had conversations with Red Bull? You bet.
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“Everyone has conversations with everyone all the time just so if that opportunity ever comes up, they’re straight in there.”
Hamilton has spoken about his adoration of Ferrari in the past and how he has dreamt of representing them.
In 2019, a switch to Ferrari seemed distinctly likely, with the team’s CEO Louis Carey Camilleri saying that he was open to signing the British driver.
Camilleri had confirmed then that Ferrari CEO John Elkann had already held talks with Hamilton.
Hamilton had reportedly made it apparent to them team that he was keen on signing for them. Ferrari was reportedly “very flattered that Lewis in particular, and other drivers, want to join us”.
As things turned out, he stayed at Mercedes, and perhaps that was for the best as far as his career is concerned.
However, with just a one-year deal being negotiated, speculation regarding Hamilton’s future is unlikely to go away anywhere too soon.