A former Formula 1 driver has played down rumours Lewis Hamilton could be on the way out of Mercedes.
While major team funder and 30 percent owner Ineos is reportedly prepared to pay for a lucrative new contract with the 38-year-old, there are also “detractors”.
That is the claim of Times newspaper correspondent Matthew Syed, who said these “many Hamilton detractors” within the Brackley based team think Mercedes should sign a deal with a younger star.
The fact the seven time world champion has struggled to shine in contrast to his younger – and less expensive – teammate George Russell has not helped Hamilton’s cause.
Hamilton said after Jeddah that his deficit there was because the two drivers made a “50-50” choice between one distinct car setup over another.
On Thursday in Melbourne, Russell hit back at the suggestion he had simply been lucky with the setup.
“I don’t think there’s any luck in it at all,” he said. “I think it’s down to the preparation you put in before the event.”
Syed continued to write: “It is possible that Mercedes may end the relationship (with Hamilton) at the end of this season, given the expense of his contract.”
But if that does happen, former F1 driver Anthony Davidson thinks it’s unlikely Hamilton would move to another team like Ferrari – after Red Bull’s Christian Horner ruled out a 2024 deal.
“I’d be very surprised if he joined another team,” Davidson is quoted by the Evening Standard.
“I’d be more surprised to see him change teams than walk away. But he says it with some conviction that he will carry on until he gets that eighth title.
“I’d say ‘don’t have a knee-jerk reaction like Fernando Alonso in the past’, which hasn’t worked out well for him until now,” Davidson added. “Just put faith in the team that they can turn it around.”