Has Ferrari targeted Hamilton as Alonso’s replacement?

Rumours continue to circulate regarding Fernando Alonso’s future plans, and the consensus is that in the next few days we will learn a bit more about how the 2015 entry list will look.

Alonso has been linked with McLaren and Honda for months, and his name has obvious appeal to the Japanese manufacturer, which sells a lot of motorbikes in Spain.

It’s absolutely imperative that McLaren has a star on board, and with due respect to Jenson Button, the paddock acknowledges that Honda is working from a very short list, headed by Fernando, Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel.

Of course the big questions over the weeks have been a) who might be able to make themselves available to join McLaren for 2015, and b) who has faith in the potential of Honda to be competitive from the off. One thing that is not in doubt is the funding available to pay for a big name, which would certainly cushion the blow should Honda not quite be on the pace immediately.

If Alonso is indeed on his way to McLaren, then obviously Ferrari needs to find a superstar with which to replace him – and for the past couple of years Sebastian Vettel has been the name in the frame as the next Ferrari signing.

However a source close to the Italian team tells me that none other than Lewis Hamilton now figures high on Maranello’s wish list, and indeed the Briton might be more easily able to walk away from Mercedes in 2015 than some might believe. He’s certainly less tied down than Vettel.

Of course for Lewis the issue is complicated by the ongoing title battle, but Ferrari would have obvious appeal to Hamilton, perhaps moreso if he secures his second title with Mercedes and can perhaps lose a year or two being a key part of a Maranello revival, thus following in the footsteps of Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher.

Those who think the idea unlikely should remember that exactly two years ago this week the world didn’t believe that Lewis would quit McLaren for Mercedes…

18 Comments

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18 responses to “Has Ferrari targeted Hamilton as Alonso’s replacement?

  1. Look where ‘loosing a year or two being a key part of a Maranello revival’ got Alonso. Lewis needs to be in the most competitive car each and every season, just ask Vettel. Or is one Mr Brawn making a return?

  2. Iain

    Plus next year’s Mercedes will have fewer of Brawn’s fingerprints all over it. If Ferrari could get HAM and Ross Brawn as a package it would be compelling.

    • Ross Brawn wasn’t responsible for producing the amazing W05, Costa and Bell were. He only bought these people into the team, and most of them are still there, so Mercedes have all the ingredients they need to dominate for another season.

  3. 911

    Inspired move by HAM to Merc. As Mcl fan was hard to take. If he like what he sees (so far he should) then his head will tell him to stay. Top 3 driver in top car will always win. Top driver in top 3 car – meh, just ask Alonso!

  4. Bill Marsh

    I just don’t see Alonso going to McLaren with Ron Dennis at the helm.

  5. I think ferrari needs to find a team leader rather than a driver. Williams is flourishing with Pat at the technical helm.

    • IMHO Ferrari has always had good and/or great drivers. It’s the car which was unable to deliver, and this is due to many different reasons, some of which are believed to be gone now. Time will tell.

      Today, it would appear that contracts in F1 have little or no meaning at all, just as well as the official press releases.

  6. LollipopMan

    If Alonso goes to Mercedes then Rosberg will never win a championship. At least with Hamilton there, Rosberg still has a 50/50 shot at a championship.

    • Razak

      “LollipopMan
      September 26, 2014 at 7:53 am
      If Alonso goes to Mercedes then Rosberg will never win a championship. At least with Hamilton there, Rosberg still has a 50/50 shot at a championship.”

      What have you been smoking Lollipopman?

    • john

      er ham beat Alonso so where you get that from

  7. greg

    It would be great. If hamilton moves to ferrari having just won the wdc for merc. then follows by a wdc in a ferrari would that not make him a true great. 3 cars 3 titles. Fangio?? Lots of if’s. If i was him and i won this year I would go next season.

  8. Tony Dowe

    Dont you just love how these fans move drivers around as if no contracts existed! At this level to break a contract will mean hugh amounts of money will be at stake, drivers salarys, sponsors, penaltys, etc, to get the stars to line up for even a single driver movement will be a miracle that plenty of lawyers will have a ball dealing with. To move the amounts that are being talked about, the mind boggles! Party on!

    • Brian

      No team wants a driver who doesn’t want to be there, much less pay him a big pile of cash. For Ferrari to spend hundreds of millions to field their cars only to staff the things with unmotivated drivers is lunacy. Better to pay half as much to someone who gives 100%. That’s why Ferrari would not hold Alonso to his contract if he wanted out – the potential downside to doing so could be very costly indeed (even more so with the parent company going public next month and then having to account to the shareholders for the value of every dollar spent.) The same holds true for any of the top-echelon drivers who are in demand.

      Brian

      PS: I’m amazed that Fernando still has the motivation that he clearly does after the past few years.

    • George

      Tony, as you will know, motor racing is about working relationships and commitment to looking for the tiny, extra “unfair” (i.e. harder working) advantage. There are some people who are just not meant to work together – Autosport’s edition about 1994 and some of the driver moves for ’95 gave 1 shining example.

  9. Paige

    I have been thinking about the possibility of Lewis going to Ferrari for a number of years. The more and more I think about it, the more and more of a possibility I think it is.

    It would require that Lewis wins a championship with Mercedes this year or next. But assuming that this happens, Lewis being someone who appreciates the history of the sport would appreciate what him having a go with Ferrari would mean.

    If he was to win a championship with Ferrari after Mercedes, he would have won world championships with three different teams. That’s something no one except Fangio has done. Not a bad way to be remembered in the history books.

    Then there is the whole idea of driving for Ferrari and being among the list of names who have done that. Following in the lines of Schumacher, Alonso, Villeneuve, Prost, etc. has obvious sentimental appeal. Being thrown in with Schumacher and Lauda as the drivers who “brought Ferrari back” is also not a bad way to be remembered.

    I think Lewis is very aware in particular of what James Allison can do to design a race car. He made a number of comments over 2012-2013 about how good the Lotus is. If he gets a sense that Allison has gotten the car together next year, I can see him very interested in the possibility of driving one of his cars.

    Finally, there is the money factor. And this is definitely a factor. His very marketing-aware management team would love to see Lewis in a Ferrari, I am sure of it.

    If Lewis wins the championship this year, we may start hearing something about him from Pino Allievi.

  10. Jackie Holt

    Ferrari have wasted Alonso’s talents and effectively spoilt his career – there is no indication that they’re going to turn it around any time soon. Perhaps someone like Vettel might give it a punt, after all he’s already earned 4 titles, but I can’t see why Hamilton would consider it even for a second. Mercedes will have a competitive car for several seasons now, it’s clearly the best place to be (except, arguably, for Red Bull).

  11. leslexx

    Hamilton might just take the bait given the whole shenanigans at Merc. I wish he’d win this years wdc and remain at Merc though

  12. Alonso to an unfancied McLaren team has a whiff of “Mansell to Wiliams” ring about it.. and we know that story had a great ending (mainly). I hope Alonso can replicate that.. he talent deserves it.

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