After Lewis Hamilton extended his contract with Mercedes in August last year, many expected that the Briton would end his career with the German team.
However, considering the failures of previous seasons, it seems that Lewis was ready for new challenges in his career. The choice fell on Ferrari.
It is not yet known when Hamilton negotiated with Ferrari, but judging by the rumors, their negotiations lasted for months. The Briton certainly had doubts about his future, given that he is already in the late years of his career.
In addition, the successes he created with Mercedes were one of the reasons why Lewis had doubts about leaving the team.
After the new Alpine car was officially revealed a few days ago, Pierre Gasly confirmed in an interview with the media that he already knew that Hamilton was in negotiations with Ferrari. This great driver wished Lewis Hamiton luck in his career.
"Obviously, he's been a long time with Mercedes, but I was aware of some talks with Ferrari," said Gasly, as quoted by crash.net
"Ultimately, he's towards the end of his career. So it was either now or never.
I think it was kept secret for quite a long time. I just wish him the best. Obviously, it's sort of exciting with the driver market, and all of you guys come with it, which is normal."
F1 fans are excited about Hamilton's decision. This will bring an additional excitement factor in the F1 world. Looking at the career of the Briton and the successes he has achieved, finishing his career at Ferrari seems like a great thing.
Ferrari is a team with a great history and success. However, in recent years they have not been able to compete for the very top.
Maybe with Hamilton, Mercedes will open a new era and potentially announce great things in the future. Gasly thinks this is a great thing for F1 fans as well as for the sport. Lewis is a person who can help the Italian team.
"But I think ultimately, for the sport, he is the most successful driver of all time joining a new project, a new challenge. I'm sure everybody will follow that very closely."
Carlos Sainz will become a free agent at the end of this year. It will be a difficult situation for the Spaniard. Although some emphasize that such treatment by Ferrari towards Sainz is not fair, Gasly raises the question of what is fair in the F1 world.
Gasly is aware that Sainz will be in a difficult situation. However, his qualities can emerge in another team. Just leaving Ferrari could be a huge motivation for the 29-year-old driver.
"What's fair in F1, first of all? I think Carlos is a great driver. Lewis is a fantastic driver, the best of all time. So, on that side of things, I think there was an opportunity on both sides.
I think Ferrari and Lewis took it together. Obviously, it leaves Carlos in a trickier situation. It's not easy."
David Coulthard about who could replace Hamilton
Many also question what Mercedes will do after Hamilton leaves the team. Toto Wolff and the management of this team will have to find an adequate replacement. It will be an interesting but also difficult task.
Looking at Hamilton's achievements and career, many consider it difficult to find a replacement for him. Looking at the F1 scene from the other side, the fact is that there are quality drivers who would help Mercedes achieve their goals in the future.
David Coulthard had some interesting suggestions during an interview for the Formula for Success podcast.
Coulthard believes that the best option for Mercedes would be Fernando Alonso!
“If I was Mercedes, I would take Alonso over Vettel,” Coulthard told the Formula for Success podcast.
“He’s race fit, he understands the engine, the power unit, because of Aston Martin and he’s still gladiatorial and got the bit between his teeth. Yes, maybe Seb was just struggling a little bit with the development of the Aston when he was there. But he wasn’t, sort of, putting manners on Lance Stroll in the way that we have seen from Fernando Alonso. So, if I could get Fernando, I’d take him.”
Coulthard thinks that if Mercedes can't get Alonso from Aston Martin, choosing Vettel could be a good idea. Vettel's experience makes him a solid option, and having a four-time world champion like him could be a great story for marketing. However, Coulthard mentions that Vettel might find it challenging to keep up with the fast George Russell.
All these are options for now, for which we do not know how realistic they are at the moment. Both drivers have certain plans. It will be interesting to see if Mercedes is one of their plans.