Ferrari signing Lewis Hamilton would not solve their problem: PlanetF1

Ferrari signing Lewis Hamilton would not solve their problem: PlanetF1

Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle says it’s not Ferrari’s drivers that are the problem, but the car, something Lewis Hamilton couldn’t have fixed right away.

The rumor mill ahead of F1’s 2023 ‘silly season’ gained momentum when a report emerged claiming Ferrari would offer Hamilton £40m per season to jump off Mercedes as the Scuderia chase their first title success since 2008.

But when the teams and drivers returned to the F1 paddock ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur was quick to clarify that no offer had been sent to Hamilton, with Hamilton duly confirming that none had been received.

He then took it a big step further by revealing that he is “almost” at the stage of agreeing a contract extension with Mercedes, his current deal expiring at the end of 2023.

And speaking on the matter via Sky F1, Brundle’s colleague Simon Lazenby threw some new reported figures at Brundle, namely a reported two-year contract extension for Hamilton, with a pay package of more than £200m over a wider 10-year deal with the brand Mercedes-Benz, with Hamilton transitioning into an ambassador role.

However, Brundle was quick to point out that in his time on the F1 scene, such financial figures when it comes to contracts are never right.

“With my Sky F1 cap on and my F1 cap on, I’d love to see Lewis in a Ferrari and go over there and try to do a Michael Schumacher and win a championship there,” he said. “I think it will be a great story for next year.

“I even know where the rumor came from, it’s all been a bit naughty, but I can’t tell you that. It makes no sense for him to leave Mercedes-Benz right now with something going on in the future.

“What I do know is that I have negotiated quite a few Formula 1 contracts for myself and for other drivers and I have never seen an accurate figure in the media, by any margin, including my own contract, so these numbers are getting into confused.

As part of Hamilton’s original claims to Ferrari, it was said that the preferred option was for him to take Carlos Sainz’s place, while a seat swap with Charles Leclerc, who would then go to Mercedes, was Plan B.

However, Brundle spoke highly of the Leclerc-Sainz combination, stressing that they are not the problem, the car is, Ferrari currently behind the dominant Red Bull team, Aston Martin and Mercedes in the constructors’ standings.

And so Brundle made it clear that Hamilton was not the silver bullet for Ferrari’s problems.

Brundle told him that Leclerc is definitely the driver for Ferrari to build around, to which Brundle replied: “You would think so, but I’m also a fan of Carlos Sainz, they have a very dynamic young partnership there.

“Ferrari’s problem at the moment is not their driver line-up, it’s their car, it’s not fast enough. So they have to focus on that.

“Lewis Hamilton can’t just show up and solve Ferrari’s problems on his own by pressing the accelerator and turning the wheel. It’s a much bigger plan that they need there.” recommends

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Perhaps unlike the last time Mercedes and Hamilton negotiated contracts, when Valtteri Bottas was his teammate, Mercedes now has a driver alongside Hamilton who, with George Russell, is highly regarded as a world champion in the making.

Brundle could well imagine this has created a different dynamic for these latest Hamilton readings, although he also stressed that for all of Russell’s immense talent and potential to grow further, Hamilton is simply “box office”.

“I think it’s a bit different at Mercedes now because they have George there and George is a potential champion of the future,” said Brundle. “They are not just leaning on Lewis now.

“So I think the dynamics may have changed during the negotiations, but Lewis is box office, he transcends this sport far more than any other driver and you can see him driving for quite some time.

“I don’t see him deteriorating in any way, shape or form as a driver, he looks fit, he looks sharp, he doesn’t seem to have any motivation issues at all.

“And then it seems inevitable that there are other relationships with Mercedes-Benz as well, but that would be Mercedes-Benz the car company, not the Formula 1 team.”

As for Brundle, however, fellow Sky F1 pundit Naomi Schiff suggested Hamilton had missed a trick by not using the Ferrari speculation to “take advantage” of an even stronger deal, something Hamilton recently said he doesn’t did and has never done in his career.

“I think for me the one thing I thought would have been good for Lewis while he’s in those contract negotiations with Mercedes is the extra clout you get from having more than one team on the grid interested in you .” Schiff said.

“And to me it was a bit surprising that he came out so clearly and said absolutely nothing, not even predominantly.

‘But I don’t know, Fred [Vasseur, Ferrari team boss] may have already extinguished that rumor before he came out and said so clearly, but that was the one thing I thought maybe he lost that potential leverage.

Hamilton looks poised to extend his longstanding Mercedes career, although the immediate concern is this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix where the team has unveiled its much-improved W14 in a bid to bring in runaway leader Red Bull.

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