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Hamilton to Ferrari in 2021: Could the unthinkable happen?

Andrew Smyth
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
952   //    09 Nov 2018, 02:28 IST

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico
F1 Grand Prix of Mexico

After watching another Ferrari world title slip through their grasp, Italy has got their hearts set on Lewis Hamilton in the famous red car.

Signs that the honeymoon period between Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari is over have grown more imminent this year.

When Vettel first arrived from Red Bull at Maranello in 2015, it was like a breath of fresh air for an ailing Ferrari team.

The Scuderia parted with Fernando Alonso at the end of 2014 after their failure to win at least one Grand Prix for the first time in 21 years.

Alonso decided that five years of failed titles bids proved he wouldn’t become world champion again at Ferrari and made a shock return to Mclaren.

As we now know, the Mclaren-Honda dream literally blew up in smoke for Alonso and he decided this year to call time on his F1 career rather than hang around in the midfield.

But Vettel’s arrival brought a sense of renewed hope and optimism at Ferrari with many comparing him to compatriot and Scuderia legend Michael Schumacher.

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia
F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia

In only the second time at asking, Vettel ended Ferrari’s 34-race win drought at Malaysia and finished the 2015 championship with a respectable third-place and another two victories.

Following a below-par 2016, Vettel and Ferrari emerged as genuine challengers to Mercedes’ throne in 2017.

The four-time champion bagged three wins in the opening six rounds and led the driver‘s championship with a 25-point lead from Lewis Hamilton.

However, Ferrari’s decade-long wait for another driver’s title continued following an end of season slump with Hamilton and Mercedes snatching the crown.

Individual and team errors have now cost them another shot at the 2018 title.

Life in the post-Schumacher era

The Belgium F1 Grand Prix
The Belgium F1 Grand Prix

Ever since Schumacher left in 2006, Ferrari have always lacked real leadership with only one driver’s title in 12 years.

The 16-time constructor's champions have turned to Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Alonso and Vettel to restore their former glory days from the Schumacher era.

Combined they‘ve achieved 43 race victories, 32 pole positions in 227 Grand Prix’s for Ferrari.

This pales compared to Schumacher’s record of 72 race victories, 58 pole positions in 181 Grand Prix’s in the red car.

Ferrari have already made a bold move in recruiting the young, yet inexperienced, Charles Leclerc for 2019 to help shake things up.

The Monegasque driver has already stated he plans to challenge for major honours at Ferrari right from the start, which could cause tension with Vettel later on.

But could Hamilton be the answer?

Italian magazine “Autosprint” unveiled their Tuesday front cover of Hamilton in a Ferrari race suit with the captain “Would you like this?”.

While Mercedes got the Brit contracted until 2020, there’s no doubting his credentials for a seat at Maranello. Hamilton holds the all-time record of 81 pole positions and his tally of 71 race victories is only bettered by Schumacher.

Past and current drivers now regard the 33-year-old an all-time great after becoming only the third driver in F1 history to win five titles. And it seems Italy have their eyes set on a stunning Hamilton-Ferrari partnership.

While it may seem unlikely right now, it could happen with Hamilton having expressed a desire in the past to race for the prancing horse.

Surprises aren’t immune to F1 either - just look at Schumacher’s shock F1 comeback in 2010.

Either way, it would be a truly exciting development for F1 and has the potential to become a truly formidable partnership

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Andrew Smyth
CONTRIBUTOR
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