The rumours of a possible exchange of teams between Hamilton and Verstappen, starting from 2021, are becoming more and more persistent and according to the Italian motorsport journalist Giorgio Terruzzi, Ferrari might well be the key to this possibility happening.
Yes, the drivers market known as ‘silly season’ is firmly upon us as we head into the summer break, but for the drivers, ‘chats’ and messages go back and forth catching the ear of those who are able to listen make for interesting note-taking.
Indeed when you look at Mercedes, Bottas certainly didn’t do too much in Hungary last weekend to convince the bosses that he should have his contract extended, despite some impressive performances thus far.
Which leads us onto Lewis Hamilton, and perhaps a more intriguing question about a possible exchange of cars between Hamilton and Verstappen.
Crazy? Perhaps, but Terruzzi certainly states a case that is probably worth considering.
It is known that both Hamilton and Verstappen have repeatedly offered themselves to Ferrari in different ways and at different times and that they politely been declined by the team on all occasions. Indeed it is thought that Lewis has seriously considered driving for Ferrari in an attempt to prove the naysayers wrong, once and for all, that he can win in another car during this hybrid era.
According to Terruzzi, a possible swap between Mercedes and Red Bull has been a consideration and is becoming more a possibility than ever. Indeed, during the British Grand Prix weekend, self-professed ‘soothsayer’ Eddie Jordan mooted that he believed that Verstappen was indeed heading to Mercedes and that Hamilton was off to Ferrari, all in 2021.
Jordan shrugged off the statement implying it was a joke, but the former team owner has a track record of teasing audiences but then has made some stunning predictions that have actually come to pass. Hamilton from McLaren to Mercedes being case in point.
“There is valid reasoning that connects Ferrari with this exchange” claims Terruzzi.
“The fact that Ferrari do not want Hamilton nor Verstappen because it has made a choice on Leclerc. If you are convinced that you have a champion (elect) in the team already, supported by a lot of relevant data, you don’t want to add a driver who wishes no.1 status”
Clear is Hamilton’s ambition now that Schumacher’s records are close enough to be broken, but could other factors be at play? Ambition and accolades would be certainly added bonuses but also the level of commitment shown by Honda and what they’d be willing to pay for a multiple World Champion might also be on Hamilton’s radar.
Then there is Red Bull who hoped to find in Gasly a replacement worthy of Ricciardo, or at least be a reliable ‘no. 2’ driver to Max, but the Frenchman has not yet shown that he can compete with any of the drivers of the three top teams. Red Bull do not have the pool of talent coming up through their junior ranks, leaving the team some serious concerns for the future.
“Red Bull no longer has any at home of champions. The strong young ones are all placed. You can’t churn out one phenomenon a year. They have churned out Verstappen, but he might still leave” says Terruzzi.
“Norris is taken, Russell is Mercedes driver and Leclerc is firmly Ferrari driver.”
Perhaps this exchange is inevitable?
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