Nico Rosberg has signed a contract to stay at Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen has signed for 2017 to stay in a Ferrari. Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. are currently signed to drive for their respective teams, allegedly.
There had been some discussions as to whether Kimi would remain at Ferrari beyond 2016. The three names banded around, Perez, Ricciardo and Hamilton were all signed, which left Ferrari with a decision to make.
Is it remotely possible that Ferrari are waiting for Lewis Hamilton to be free of his Mercedes contract? Could it be that they are planning to build a super-team of Vettel and Hamilton beyond 2017?
Although to most Mercedes fans this idea is preposterous and not worth thinking about, it does merit some thought. Hamilton and Vettel appear to get along very well, but then so did Lewis and Rosberg and we know how that’s turned out recently.
There was an interview last season with Lewis and Seb and the question was posed about seeing the both of them in the same team. Both men smiled and neither dismissed the idea. Some fans were surprised that Kimi was retained by Ferrari for next season. Some were hoping that a new face would be brought in to partner the four-time world champion. Other Ferrari fans are citing the fact that two ego’s as big as Vettel and Hamilton in one team just simply would not work. There are a lot of unsigned, talented drivers for 2017. Ferrari, if they really wanted to, could have the pick of these. One name that immediately springs to mind is Bottas. They didn’t. They stayed with Kimi, which then poses the question, who are they waiting for?
Out of the three drivers who have had their names mostly linked with the red team, Hamilton appears, on the face of it, to be a very shrewd move. He’ll be out of contract at Mercedes. He may well be looking for a fresh challenge, similar to how he wanted a new adventure when leaving McLaren. The disharmony in the Mercedes team, the body language displayed by Lewis at times and even the words he uses could suggest he wants a new challenge.
Of all the teams on the grid, the only one that stands out to be a competitor for the success Hamilton enjoys at Mercedes is Ferrari. Yes, there is Red Bull with their set-up, technical brilliance and marketing genius. A Red Bull and Hamilton tie-in would be PR gold, but let us not forget that underneath the showman, the superstar and playboy that is Lewis Hamilton, there is a man who love his Formula 1 history, adores the era’s of when Senna, Stewart, Clark and Moss were racing. He loves this side of F1 and there is no other team on the F1 grid that has that kind of history than Ferrari.
The other factor is records. Lewis Hamilton, like any racing driver, likes to break records and there are none more so to be broken than at Ferrari.
So, if you put all that together, it’s not unthinkable that Hamilton teaming up with Ferrari could possibly be something of the future.
Can Vettel and Hamilton drive in the same team? Could Ferrari effectively manage that kind of ego battle?
There is only one way to find out and there is possibly only one man who could control that kind of battle.
What is Ross Brawn doing these day?
See You At The Chequered Flag.