McLaren refuse Lewis Hamilton reunion as Ferrari linked with 2021 move for Mercedes ace


McLaren have ruled out a reunion with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in 2021.

Lewis Hamilton claimed the sixth F1 world title of his career after a second placed finish at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 34-year-old now holds second place in the all-time rankings to himself and is only one away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s seven titles.

Eleven years ago Hamilton won his first F1 title with McLaren back in 2008.

And at just 23 he became the youngest ever F1 world champion after overtaking Timo Glock in the final corner of the Brazilian Grand Prix, in what was one of the most dramatic finales to a season the sport has ever seen.

However, in the following years Red Bull dominated the sport and Hamilton then made the decision to leave McLaren and join Mercedes in 2013.

But while his current contract with the Silver Arrows is due to expire in 2021, McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has ruled a reunion with the team that gave him his first opportunities in F1.

Brown insisted the British motor racing team won’t be looking to sign Hamilton as they are happy with their young driver line-up of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.

“No, I would not anticipate us signing Lewis in 2021,” Brown said.

“I am very happy with our current driver line-up.”

There are still two races remaining in the season with F1 heading to Brazil in two weeks time before finishing up in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of December.

Sainz has had a good season for McLaren and so far the 25-year-old has secured 80 points for the team and sits seventh in the driver standings.

Norris has also had a good debut season and the 19-year-old has picked up 41 points and is currently eleventh in the rankings.

But come 2021, Hamilton won’t be the only superstar whose contract will be expiring.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel are also currently on course to be out of contract at the same time and their futures with those teams are still uncertain.

Verstappen has indicated he is willing to wait to see what package Red Bull can offer him before committing his F1 future to the team.

And this means Ferrari could be in the market to replace Vettel with either Hamilton or Verstappen in the near future.

However, Damon Hill, who won the F1 world title in 1996, thinks Hamilton won’t fancy the prospect of being in the same team as either Verstappen or Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“Lewis’ future is a matter of how motivated he is,” said Hill.

“He has a lot of interests away from Formula One but if you said to him in five years when he is 39, ‘Do you want to drive a world championship-winning car?’ I would be surprised if he turned it down.

“That said, something has got to keep him interested, and I don’t know whether doing the same thing again and again with Mercedes will be enough.

“He might be interested in a move to Ferrari but he is also probably content with his legacy at Mercedes. Lewis wouldn’t want to battle it out against a young team-mate. I am not sure he would want that pressure.”

No, I would not anticipate us signing Lewis in 2021


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