Hamilton to Red Bull or Ferrari? UPDATE #6
(GMM) With factories closing for the summer break, some sections of the media are left only to speculate about the future.
|Hamilton denies Red Bull and Ferrari rumors|
One hypothetical scenario is Lewis Hamilton reunited with his former McLaren nemesis at Ferrari, however unlikely some observers consider that to be.
But the British driver this week admitted it is a possibility, thanking the Spaniard for helping him "improve as a driver" as his teammate in 2007 and refusing to dismiss Ferrari as a future employer.
"We are talking about a fantastic team and you never know what could happen," Hamilton told the Spanish sports newspaper AS.
And on Friday, the Telegraph's Tom Cary published comments by Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali that indicated Hamilton's affection for the famous Italian team is not a one-way street.
Asked if he has found Hamilton's erratic behavior this year a turn-off, Domenicali answered: "Not at all.
"I always state that in my view the top three drivers in the championship are Fernando, Lewis and Sebastian. And from that point of view my attitude has not changed one bit.
"But I'm concentrating on my drivers at the moment."
Domenicali admitted he admires Hamilton's non-stop "attack mode", for instance when the field is lined up behind the safety car in wet conditions and drivers are busily radioing the pits.
"It's funny sometimes ... you hear all the drivers saying 'No way, I cannot see anything' ... and then you get Lewis and he is saying 'No, no. Let's go for it'. And for a driver to have this attitude is a great thing," he said.08/03/11 McLaren's Lewis Hamilton refused to rule out a future move to Ferrari, saying in an interview published on Wednesday that he had no plans to join the team "but you never know what could happen in the future".
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has said the team could look to sign the 26-year-old Briton, who won the world title in 2008, despite already having Spain's Fernando Alonso locked into a long-term deal.
Hamilton and Alonso had a troubled relationship at McLaren in 2007, with the pair bickering openly over who was the British team's number one driver.
Asked by Spanish sports daily AS if he would like to drive for Ferrari one day, Hamilton said: "At the moment I don't have any plans to do so, it is not something I desire or feel that I have to do."
"But we are talking about a fantastic team and you never know what could happen in the future," he added.
Hamilton said he had learned how to become a better driver during his time with double world champion Alonso at McLaren.
"Alonso is a very, very fast pilot, incredibly fast, with extraordinary talent and incredible speed. You know that he will always give his best," he said.
"I learned a lot with him as a pilot, I improved my driving thanks to having him as a companion." NDTV.com06/15/11 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton has played down his conversations with rival team bosses Christian Horner and Stefano Domenicali at the Canadian grand prix last weekend.
Media reports have made much of the fact that, with his contract expiring next year, the highly rated 2008 world champion sought out the Red Bull and Ferrari chiefs in the Montreal paddock.
But Hamilton, speaking as he swapped his McLaren car for Tony Stewart's NASCAR at the Watkins Glen circuit for a PR stunt, said those sorts of social chats are entirely normal.
"I know all the managers, the bosses, all the teams. I know Stefano Domenicali, we chat all the time.
"I've known Christian since I was in the lower series ... and I used to speak to him back then. I spoke to a lot of people last weekend," explained the 26-year-old.
Hamilton insisted he is "very fortunate" to be a McLaren driver and played down suggestions he is eyeing a team switch. zzzz
But he admitted: "I've definitely not achieved all that I want to.
"But we are the only other team that has won grands prix this year, so I don't see why you'd particularly want to move.
"So as long as we have the car that can do the job, then there will be no reason to leave."06/15/11 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. The management company of Lewis Hamilton is adamant that the 2008 World Champion did not discuss a potential race seat deal with Red Bull’s Christian Horner in Canada. To date, the Englishman is yet to race for a Formula 1 team other than McLaren, having been a protégé of the Woking outfit since 1997.
“Neither Lewis nor his management team have had any discussions with regard to moving team,” a spokesman for XIX Entertainment, who have represented Hamilton since earlier this year, is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
06/14/11 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton may also be considering a switch to Ferrari, as the speculation about the 2008 world champion's future rolls on.
Widespread reports after the Canadian grand prix said the 26-year-old met with Red Bull's Christian Horner at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after qualifying.
"He was also spotted doing the same with Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali," read a report in the British newspaper The Mirror.
Hamilton is being managed by Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment and a spokesman on Tuesday denied the rumors.
"I can say categorically there are no talks with Red Bull or Ferrari. In fact anyone.
"If we were to start talks we would go to McLaren first. Lewis is happy at McLaren and still very positive about playing a part in this championship," added the spokesman.
It is believed Hamilton personally sought out the Red Bull talks, walking into the team's circuit offices and asking a member of the catering staff if he knew where Horner was.
That meeting preceded Hamilton's latest controversies when he got involved in more collisions in Montreal.
"He seems to be in a bit of a difficult situation," Horner is quoted by the German newspaper Welt, whose own headline referred to the Briton as 'Rambo'.
"I think he's trying a bit too hard. Maybe he just needs a bit of time out," added Horner.
David Coulthard, who switched to Red Bull after nearly a decade with McLaren, thinks a move away from the British team might also be a good idea for Hamilton.
"Maybe (it) is something he needs after literally growing up at McLaren over the last decade -- drop the emotional baggage which inevitably grows in every relationship," he wrote in his Telegraph column.06/13/11 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton could be considering a switch from McLaren to Red Bull, according to new speculation on Monday.
Sapa-AFP wire reports said the 26-year-old world champion of 2008 met with Red Bull officials at the offices of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at the weekend.
Team sources confirmed Hamilton spent 15 minutes during a "social visit" with Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
The British driver's McLaren contract runs until the end of next season. The new reports come after Hamilton this year joined the XIX Entertainment management company, with its chief Simon Fuller also handling the likes of David Beckham.
The latest rumors are also hot on the heels of a difficult period for Hamilton, whose aggressive style and run-ins with FIA officials have triggered controversy.
"I think he has had an unfortunate run, but I think he has to be the racer he is, and I am sure he will be," McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is quoted as saying.
Hamilton was also defended by Norbert Haug, the motor sport vice-president for Mercedes-Benz.
"He is a good driver, he is a friend and I do not share the criticism that is on him. We will support him and he is a great driver," said the German.06/13/11 Lewis Hamilton could yet be off to Red Bull Racing after reportedly meeting with Christian Horner for a "preliminary chat" in Canada.
Earlier this season, when McLaren looked to have seriously botched their MP4-26, rumors did the rounds that Hamilton could seek employment elsewhere when his deal with the Woking team expires at the end of next year.
However, the 26-year-old insisted that he is committed to McLaren.
"There is no question of my loyalty for my team. It's been my team since I was six years old," he said back in April.
"I'm here, I'm committed to them. I want to try and help them as well as becoming one of the most successful drivers myself. I want them to be out there to do that for me."
But Hamilton's commitment may last only as long as his current deal as he may be looking to Red Bull Racing in a bid to win a second Drivers' Championship title.
Autosport reports that "Hamilton met for private talks with Red Bull Racing chief Christian Horner at the team's office buildings on Saturday evening - where the two spent at least 15 minutes together chatting in private.
"Although it is not known exactly what they talked about, as one Red Bull source cheekily dismissed the get-together as nothing more than a 'social visit', it would be unlikely that the pair did not discuss future intentions." Planet F1