Former Ferrari F1 driver Gerhard Berger has suggested that Lewis Hamilton should move to the Scuderia – if Mercedes cannot provide race-winning machinery.
The seven-time world champion has been at Mercedes since 2013. With the Silver Arrows, he has won six WDCs, although his last came in 2020.
Mercedes have struggled since the introduction of ground-effect aero regulations. In 2022, Hamilton was far adrift of competing for the title during a difficult campaign. He also went winless throughout the entire season – the first time this has ever happened in his F1 career.
Additionally, the Brit’s contract with Mercedes is set to expire at the end of this season. As a result, this could be an opportunity for a rival team to make a pitch to him. When speaking to the Austrian paper Kronen Zeitung, Gerhard Berger recommended collaboration between Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari.
“If he doesn’t get a competitive car at Mercedes or if he doesn’t see a place at Red Bull, then he might think: ‘I don’t want to stop just yet. I want to try Ferrari. Maybe I can fix it.’ Although Lewis emphasizes that he would never leave his Mercedes family – that means nothing in F1. No one reveals their cards.
“Every racing driver wants to drive for Ferrari at least once,” added Berger. “And almost all the good ones have been there. But Ayrton Senna did not go there because he knew that he could never win there. It may be that Lewis thinks this too.”
Despite the former racer’s advice, Hamilton himself seems very comfortable with Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton praises Mercedes as “home” amid Ferrari advice
Hamilton has a close affinity with the German marque. They were McLaren’s engine supplier when the Brit joined the grid in 2007; in fact, Hamilton has only ever driven Mercedes-powered F1 cars.
It is therefore no wonder that he has such a sense of belonging with the team.
“I continue to feel very much at home,” said Hamilton, via Autosport. “It’s family. I see myself being with Mercedes till my last days, to be honest.
“I’ve got some amazing allies within the team. I’ve got great relationships here. For me personally, just as long as I can continue to help the team, continue to help drive the team forwards, and really contribute, then that’s why I want to stay.
If there’s ever going to be a point where I feel like I’m not able to do that. Then, it’s time for a youngster to come in and take my seat. But I’m still pretty young, and in pretty decent shape.”
Formula 1 is currently in an enforced “spring break” as the Chinese GP’s cancellation leaves a gap in the calendar. Last time out, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes showed flashes of potential at the Australian GP.
Mercedes and Hamilton’s 2023 so far
Pre-season testing suggested that 2023 could be another challenging year for the three-pointed star. The opening race in Bahrain did little to quash these fears; Mercedes looked significantly slower than Red Bull, and even behind Ferrari and Aston Martin.
Hamilton managed P5 in Sakhir, with teammate George Russell in P7. Saudi Arabia saw a small improvement, with Russell leading Hamilton home in P4 and P5 respectively.
As the team desperately searched for pace, the Australian GP provided some positivity. The team qualified P2 and P3, then immediately jumped Max Verstappen to lead in Melbourne. Unfortunately, Verstappen’s race pace was too powerful, and he got ahead of both Mercedes.
Russell’s retirement due to engine problems also put a dampener on the weekend. But Lewis Hamilton did finish P2, much to the surprise of both him and his fans.
The team will now hope to continue this around the streets of Baku at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Here, Lewis Hamilton and Co. will aspire to take the battle to Ferrari and Aston Martin once more. Red Bull will still likely be ahead of the chasing pack.
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