Sir Lewis Hamilton has admitted he would like to race for Ferrari in Formula 1, but the Briton was also quick to reiterate his loyalty to Mercedes.
A seven-time champion racing for both Mercedes and Ferrari would be a romantic motorsport headline after Michael Schumacher did the same thing a decade ago, and Mercedes’ struggles this year have led to natural implications that the 37-year-old might be tempted away from the Silver Arrows.
Hamilton owns two Ferrari LaFerrari supercars, the first of which he bought back in 2016, although this is likely more down to the fact that, when comparing Ferrari’s and Mercedes’ road cars, it might be a bit of a no contest.
The 103-time race winner’s one podium finish this year is symptomatic of an underperforming W13 car that has also led team-mate George Russell to two, while the Scuderia have two race wins under their belt through Charles Leclerc.
Between Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz, Ferrari have been on the podium seven times in the opening seven races this year, although the Spaniard is yet to win a race.
Barring that, Sainz’s performances have been nothing to scoff at, and he is still proving a very solid runner for Ferrari, so the danger of him being dropped at the end of this year stands at almost zero, particularly given that he has a great rapport with the Italian side and has a contract until 2024.
This will not stop fans fantasising about Hamilton one day ending up at the Maranello-based team, but he pointed out his “loyalty” tattoo, pledging his allegiance to the team with whom he has won six titles.
“Of course it would be nice to race for Ferrari during my career, but things happen because of a reason… Mercedes is my family. I will always be a Mercedes driver, just like Stirling Moss,” he told Corriere della Sera.
As for Mercedes’ woes, Hamilton aims to have the performance of the car up at the level of Red Bull and Ferrari by his home British Grand Prix in early July.
“I hope by the time we get to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone we will have the car as we want it – to be able to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull,” said the Briton.
“It would be nice if we can give them a run for their money at our home race.
“I know that work is going on tirelessly in the factory to make progress with the car, and I have no doubt we will get it right sooner or later.”
One of the key areas the German outfit must improve upon is their bouncing, which made a return in Monaco due to the bumps of the track coupled with the lower ride height and stiffer suspension of the new cars.
It is not thought that the “porpoising” phenomenon is a factor for the eight-time champions anymore though, so there is plenty of promise in that respect.
But dealing with exaggerated bumps and improve performance in low-speed corners is still paramount, especially after the 37-year-old finished eighth in Monte Carlo.
“I kind of expected it, we weren’t very good in low-speed [sections] in [the] last race anyway,” explained Hamilton.
“In the race it was okay, but not on a single lap, so we anticipated it would be difficult here.
“But it’s worse than we anticipated because of the bumps, it’s just super-bouncy for us, everywhere, slow, medium and high speed. Very challenging.”
Mercedes are third in the Constructors’ Championship, over 100 points behind Red Bull, who have won all of the last four races through a combination of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.