Lewis Hamilton Could Replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari, Mark Webber Suggests
With Vettel's contract up at the end of the season, it all depends on how Ferrari does in 2017.
Should Sebastian Vettel ditch Ferrari's Formula 1 team when his contract expires, Maranello could snap up Lewis Hamilton to replace him, Mark Webber says—even though the Brit still has a year on his Mercedes-AMG F1 contract.
Racing's favorite cleft-chin Aussie dropped the thought in an interview with Britain's Express published Wednesday morning.
“If the car flies and [Ferrari] is on fire, Seb is winning and the love affair continues,” Webber said. "“If they’re not, he has options elsewhere. He’s on the front foot. He can sign for any team in the pit-lane and if Ferrari don’t love him, they’re going to struggle."
“They might get Lewis Hamilton even though he’s not out of contract, but who else are they going to grab?"
Hamilton reportedly threatened to walk away from his team last year in the midst of his heated battle with teammate Nico Rosberg for the driver's championship, after the two men's cars collided during the Spanish Grand Prix.
But walking away from Mercedes could be tough regardless of any contractual obligations. As F1 fans all know, the team has been on fire recently, winning the constructors' championship the last three years running. And with Rosberg replaced this year by the less-experienced Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton's path to another driver's title could be better than ever.
Vettel and his Ferrari teammate Kimi Räikkönen both put up strong performances last year, but neither was able to come close to the points accumulated by Rosberg and Hamilton in their Mercedes-AMG race cars. (Even Räikkönen and Vettel's combined 398 points barely exceeded Rosberg's victorious 385.)
Ferrari's new SF70H race car, like the rest of the 2017 lineup, promises to be faster and stick harder than the previous year's cars. Nevertheless, that didn't stop Vettel from wiping out during testing last month.