Lewis Hamilton warned he made a mistake signing new Mercedes contract

Lewis Hamilton reportedly rejected an approach from Ferrari before signing his two-year extension with Mercedes.

Fans of Lewis Hamilton have insisted that the British driver should’ve rejected a new deal at Mercedes and have joined Ferrari, following a concerning qualifying performance for the Silver Arrows at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton did well to out-qualify George Russell by three-tenths of a second in Q3, having been behind his team-mate all weekend in Suzuka.

The Mercedes pair will line-up seventh and eighth on the grid for Sunday’s race, where they appear to be in the fight for simply finishing in the top-six.

Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari are all much quicker than the Brackley-based team in Suzuka, as proven by their advantage over the Germans in qualifying.

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Concerningly, Hamilton was 1.031s slower than pole sitter Max Verstappen, in what is their biggest deficit to pole position this season.

Mercedes have lost a considerable amount of time through the first sector this weekend, where neither Hamilton nor Russell have had the confidence in the W14 through the sweeping high-speed corners.

Both drivers are concerned that the rear will slide on them, whilst the likes of Verstappen have been totally committed through every corner.

Mercedes’ deficit has concerned Hamilton’s supporters, who don’t think the 38-year-old will ever return to the front with the Silver Arrows.

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“They have no chance next year,” wrote @Jordan_F1 on Twitter/X.

“That team is hopeless now & Lewis shouldn’t have stayed there.”

Several fans agreed with this supporter’s take on the situation, with many having questioned why he rejected a move to Ferrari, who have improved considerably over recent races.

“Agreed. I honestly thought he would move to Ferrari but hey it’s F1, contracts, anything can happen,” said @jgc0.

“If they don’t restructure heavily and find a leader who is a fighter. This is scary,” admitted @reezi02.

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One supporter went as far as admitting that Mercedes “absolutely” aren’t fighting for the title under the current aerodynamic regulations.

“Feels like at this stage Merc are turning up knowing they’re going to be the 4th quickest team. Absolutely no way they are winning anything in these current regulations,” commented @Stewartydog4.

“Be interesting to see if they can get a better car for the new regs in 26 as they’ve arsed these regs up.”