The Mercedes Formula 1 driver’s future is still open as ex-Schumacher team mate says Hamilton to Ferrari option could be on. Lewis Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes expires after the current season. Because the prospects are unclear at Mercedes, and no extension is yet in sight, there has been speculation for some time about a move for the world champion. Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert has now joined in.
Johnny Herbert claims to know Formula 1 like the back of his hand, and certainly in years within the sport, this could be the case despite his manner on live TV with Sky sports F1. That said, the British former F1 driver was active at Benetton for eleven years and drove alongside F1 legend Michael Schumacher in 1995, among other things.
After the 2000 season, the three-time Grand Prix winner ended his career and has since been active as a pundit. In this role, the 58-year-old now also spoke about a possible switch of his compatriot Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes to Ferrari.
“I suppose it depends on what happens at Mercedes,” Herbert told English newspaper the Standard Sport, adding the question of all questions for Mercedes and Hamilton fans: “Can they still turn it around?”
Ferrari might be the only option
The Silver Arrows are struggling for the second year in a row and once again cannot match the clearly superior Red Bulls of double world champion Max Verstappen and his team-mate Sergio Pérez with their current pace.
“If that doesn’t work out and Lewis still has the fire in his belly and thinks this is not the place for him, where does he go?” added Herbert, only to immediately answer that theme himself with further thoughts:
“Would he go to Ferrari? Would he want to go there because he thinks he can win a championship there? Would he feel he could take his energy and the people of Mercedes there, like Michael Schumacher did, and actually change it and take it in a positive direction?”
Herbert: Hamilton lacks ‘the sixth sense’
Even if the now 38-year-old answered “yes” to all these questions, a change would be risky. Because Hamilton’s “problem with that is time,” stressed Herbert, who nevertheless attested to the seven-time world champion that he still has the speed and the hunger necessary to achieve the eighth and thus the sole record title.
Hamilton had to be careful, though. The younger and current champion Max Verstappen, who is already sawing away at the veteran’s achievements with a real chance of beating Hamiltons records eventually, has an advantage, a ‘sixth sense’.
“The biggest difference is that most of the great drivers of the current young generation have something that Lewis has never been comfortable with and they want to put all their energy into, which is simulator work,” Herbert said.
“This gives drivers like Verstappen, Russel and co. a “sixth sense”, unlike Hamilton.”
— FormulaNerds 🤓🏁 (@Formula_Nerds) April 2, 2023