EXCLUSIVE: Hamilton signed a new two-year contract extension last month, but former Sky Sports F1 pundit Johnny Herbert wishes the seven-time world champion had made a different choice
The seven-time world champion penned a new deal with the Silver Arrows last month. It extends his stay with the team until at least the end of the 2025 season, when he will be just a few weeks shy of his 41st birthday.
It remains to be seen whether this will be Hamilton’s last contract in Formula 1. But it certainly makes it much less likely that he will ever make a switch to Ferrari – a potential move to which he referred as a “dream” two years ago.
Some reports claimed the Scuderia were interested this year as his contract stand-off went on for many months. But, eventually, he chose to remain loyal to the Mercedes team that he calls his “family”.
Former Sky Sports pundit Herbert understands why Hamilton chose that path. But part of him wishes the Brit had taken a leap and struck a deal with Ferrari.
The 59-year-old said: “He may be aware of what may be happening in the future with Mercedes and has been satisfied that is where his future is. Still, I would have liked to have seen the final part of his career in a Ferrari.
“I honestly think he was the right character and the perfect fit for them. If he is happy where he is, for him, that is the best mental place for him to be. You have got to have belief in where you are at and Lewis does, which is why he re-signed.”
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Whether or not he will get the chance to fight for the eighth F1 title he so desperately craves remains to be seen. Except for a blip in Singapore, Red Bull have been untouchable this season and are threatening to dominate the sport for years to come.
Mercedes have made progress over the last 18 months, but Herbert has not seen enough to be convinced that the Silver Arrows will give Hamilton the car he needs in the next two seasons. He added: “Based on the last couple of years, I don’t see Lewis getting an eighth title.
“The car has got better since they changed from the original concept, but they are only as good as the gap behind Red Bull. They are not ahead of the game. Can they turn it around? I don’t know. I haven’t seen those positive signs. They have gone forward but not very far. The car is not a race winner.”
Interview with Johnny Herbert courtesy of Grosvenor Casinos.