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Vital talking points: Hamilton to quit Merc?

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are dominating Formula One at the present moment in time.

Victory in Bahrain this weekend saw Hamilton take his 14th Grand Prix victory since the Malaysian Grand Prix in March 2014.

To put that into context that is the same amount of race victories that former Formula One World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Graham Hill and Jack Brabham celebrated in the 1960's and 1970's during their racing careers.

In modern day F1 it is just one less than 2009 title holder Jenson Button has achieved throughout his career.

9 of those race wins have come in 11 races either side of Hamilton clinching the 2014 Formula One World Championship.

Hamilton already holds a 27 point gap over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and looks an odds on favourite to take a second consecutive title, emulating his idol Aryton Senna with three Formula One World Championships.

With 36 Grand Prix victories to-date he also looks set to surpass Senna's win record of 41 later this season, to become the third most successful Formula One driver in history behind Alain Prost [51 Grand Prix victories] and Michael Schumacher [91 Grand Prix victories].

But as another week passes with no new contract for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, with talks dragging on since last year, has Hamilton's head been turned by Ferrari?

Despite having said everything with Mercedes has been agreed in principal, we don't look any closer to having everything signed and sealed.

Continued speculation regarding the delays have been frequent in the media.

Rumour that Hamilton had requested number one status at Mercedes were quickly quashed not only by Hamilton but also by team boss Toto Wolff.

But what of the numerous approaches from Ferrari that have been reported.

Have they unsettled talks?

Ferrari have signed Sebastian Vettel on a long-term contract, but Kimi Raikkonen's current deal, like Lewis Hamilton's, expires at the end of the current season.

Ferrari do hold an option to retain Raikkonen for 2016, but have reportedly been making approaches for Hamilton.

It would take a brave person to bet on Hamilton making a shock move to Ferrari, but he has form in this area after previously announcing his exit from McLaren to join Mercedes three years ago after he made the bold decision that Mercedes was the car to be in.

Now with Ferrari's improvements, could he be wondering if Ferrari will be the team to beat from 2016 onwards?

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone would certainly back the move. “It would be great to see Lewis at Ferrari,” he told The Daily Mail.

“Whether Sebastian would want that, I really don’t know. But if Lewis went there, it would be great for the sport — 100 per cent.”

What Ecclestone is referring to is the key factor in this hypothetical equation. Even if Hamilton wanted to join Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel could veto the move.

The former four-time Formula One World Champion reportedly holds a clause in his contract where he can reject a potential new team-mate at Ferrari.

However unlikely a switch to Ferrari is for Hamilton, the speculation will continue to mount until that new contract with Mercedes is announced.








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 20 2015

Time: 12:00PM

 

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