We’re not even halfway through the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship and the driver market is already heating up, with many current drivers facing big question marks about their futures in the top tier of international motorsport.
The shine is wearing off Mick Schumacher at Haas; Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon are feeling left out by Red Bull; Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are on the cusp of retirement; Daniel Ricciardo might lose his seat at McLaren…
Even Lewis Hamilton – the seven-time World Champion and unequivocal GOAT – is facing immense pressure. While his former Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas is kicking goals over at Alfa Romeo, his new teammate George Russell has pretty comprehensively out-driven Lewis so far this season.
There’s now speculation that Hamilton might move to another team for 2023… And if you had a look in Lewis’ garage, you might get a hint at where he might try and head: Scuderia Ferrari.
Hamilton’s favourite car, the one he’s most frequently spotted driving, is his $7 million custom Ferrari LaFerrari in Rosso Fuoco, which features his name and logo on the doorsills. In fact, he loves the LaFerrari so much he actually owns two: he also owns a LaFerrari Aperta in Satin White.
When Lewis ordered his LaFerraris back in 2016, he raised more than a few questions. What was a Mercedes driver doing buying cars from one of his team’s most fierce rivals? Lewis has always been open about the fact that as a kid, he was always a Ferrari fan, too…
Why are we bringing this all up now though? Well, according to WTF1, Lewis has reportedly put Mercedes on notice and given the team a performance deadline – “I hope by the time we get to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone we will have the car as we want it – to be able to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull. It would be nice if we can give them a run for their money at our home race,” the top driver has said.
It’s clear by the conciliatory tone of radio messages we’ve heard between Lewis and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff during races this season that Mercedes is nervous that if they don’t get their car up to speed, they might be at risk of losing their star driver.
At the same time, after years in the doldrums, Ferrari has emerged as a serious championship contender in 2022, with their car and engine appearing to be the most compelling package on the grid.
Even though he’s not driving particularly badly this season (in fact, quite the contrary), there’s an outside chance that Ferrari could ditch their #2 driver Carlos Sainz and snap up Hamilton to drive alongside wunderkind Charles Leclerc if the GOAT decided to jump ship to the Scuderia for 2023.
That said, Hamilton has poured water on any suggestion that he might move to another team, specifically Ferrari.
“Of course it would be nice to race for Ferrari during my career, but things happen because of a reason… Mercedes is my family. I will always be a Mercedes driver, just like Stirling Moss.” he told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, after also pointing out he had been tattooed with the word “loyalty”.
Just because he likes to drive a LaFerrari doesn’t mean he wants to drive a Ferrari on a F1 circuit…
Lewis’ car collection is rather diverse, actually. On top of his LaFerrari, he also owns a Mercedes-AMG One – indeed, he owns one of the first production models – as well as a Mercedes-Maybach S 600, Cadillac Escalade, McLaren P1, Pagani Zonda and a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra.