The winningest Formula 1 driver in history, Lewis Hamilton, may soon have a career-defining decision on his hands.
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes-Benz is set to expire at the end of this season. Mercedes currently pays Lewis Hamilton around $35 million/year but Ferrari is reportedly going to step to the table with a $40 million/year contract offer.
Back in March, Lewis Hamilton told the media that he wouldn’t retire until he (at least) got his 8th Formula 1 title. Now with no immediate retirement plans in sight, the 38-year-old will need to sign a new contract.
In the past, Lewis Hamilton has often waited until the last minute to sign a new contract with Mercedes-Benz. So holding out until the 11th hour isn’t necessarily a sign that change is coming.
However, an exclusive report from Jonathan McEvoy of the Daily Mail suggests that Ferrari is going to offer Lewis Hamilton a raise of $5 million/year.
Mail Sport writes “the Italian team are willing to break the bank to land the superstar in a £40million deal, and offer him the opportunity to eclipse the Scuderia’s greatest hero, Michael Schumacher, who won five of his seven titles with them.”
It goes on to suggest that Ferrari Chariman John Elkann is already in contact with Lewis Hamilton, winner of 7 Formula 1 Championships and 103 races, to offer him a contract worth $40 million/year.
Talk Sport points out the biggest obstacle to signing Lewis is Ferrari already has Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz contracted through the end of 2024.
But they don’t hold back, and suggest that Lewis Hamilton has ‘long dreamed of’ joining Ferrari. Calling it a ‘long-held ambition’ of Hamilton’s, and harkening back to a 2021 quote from Lewis:
“It’s definitely going to be crazy to think that I never drove for Ferrari. Of course I look at the colorr and the red, it’s just… it’s still the red. I have a couple of Ferraris at home, so I do get to drive a Ferrari, just not the one. For everyone that’s a dream position to be in. It was just never really fully on the cards for me. I’ll never know fully exactly why, but I wish them all the best and I’m going to spend the next bit of my time stopping them from winning the championship.”
It seems likely at this point that Lewis will wait until the end of the current season/his contract before making any contract decisions. But a $5 million raise would certainly be enticing to anyone, even one of the wealthiest athletes on earth.