The story that Lewis Hamilton should go to Ferrari and Charles Leclerc has nothing else to do than sign with Mercedes is now known. Max Verstappen would be a possible candidate for the Italian team. Ferrari insider Leo Turrini doubts it all and doesn’t think Ferrari has anything to convince Hamilton and Verstappen to drive for them. Ferrari needs much more than a marketing operation, said the Italian.
“If Hamilton went to Ferrari, all the puzzle pieces would fall into place, wouldn’t they?” Turrini starts at the Italian Quotidiano Nazionale. “It is an open secret that Leclerc is in talks with Mercedes. Everyone knows it, from the remote garage of Maranello to the Indian Ocean,” the Italian journalist continues. ‘In his still unfinished career, Carlos (Sainz, ed.) showed flashes of pure class. He is the first to know that time passes.’
“Russell is very strong, but if Hamilton were to retire, whoever pays in Stuttgart may not accept another Bottas next to a driver who is not yet world champion,” Turrini writes. “And here we are, Chapter Lewis. Hamilton is still very good behind the wheel. However, I suspect that he can no longer beat Verstappen, for reasons also related to age. Let me put it this way: with an absolutely equal car I think the Dutchman would win.’
‘Hamilton has never been close to the red team’
Hamilton is out for the eighth world title. The counter is currently still at seven, and that has remained unchanged after the 2022 season. Even in 2023, the chance already seems to be small. Hamilton is very close to Mercedes. He wanted the eighth title and then retire. What would he do if he realized he couldn’t win anymore with the Silver Arrows?’ Turrini wonders. ‘Don’t know. On the other hand, I know that Hamilton has never been close to moving to the red team. Montezemolo thought about it when he was disappointed in Alonso, but Lewis had already settled in at Mercedes.
A deal between Hamilton and Ferrari never materialized. ‘Never. It is true that John Elkann, who became president after Marchionne’s death, asked for information about Hamilton’s contract,” Turrini said. But Lewis won back-to-back titles racing alone and wasn’t the least bit interested in the prospect (of moving to Ferrari, ed.). Today, 2023, they are even talking about 2025 as a possible option in Maranello. But in F1 Ferrari needs much more than a marketing operation, although this would create a sensation in the media.
According to Turrini, the Scuderia would have to pull out a lot to bring in Hamilton. What could persuade Hamilton to sign a deal with a team that has failed to convince in 20 years? Not the money: he is richer than Sardanapalus (extremely rich king in a play by Byron, ed.). Not the emotional challenge: a champion goes where he thinks he can be the added value that can win after a transfer. But the current Ferrari could not do that without Verstappen. If the latter succeeds, however, I will isolate myself with my beloved music, and jump holes in the air.’