Opinion: F1 needs to stop obsessing about Hamilton joining Ferrari

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While all eyes were on the track during last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, there was a weird story revealed off it.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claimed he and Lewis Hamilton have previously spoken about the possibility of him leaving and heading to Ferrari.

“Of course we have talked about it openly with each other," he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Ferrari is a phenomenal brand, the most prestigious in F1, and every driver dreams of winning a world championship with the Cavallino.

“I understand it [that wish] perfectly.

“On the other hand, Mercedes also has a great story and we have renewed the glories of the past, something Lewis is proud of," the Austrian noted.

“Nobody knows the future but I hope he finishes his career by winning more titles with us, but I know everyone has the desire to go with the redhead.”

Wolff then continued, suggesting Sebastian Vettel could head the other way, citing the German connection plus the friendship and respect he has with the four-time world champion.

For this piece, however, I will solely focus on Hamilton, who said this when asked about his boss' comments post-race on Sunday.

“I think when you’re in negotiations you always have to drop in the Ferrari name," he said, “You come out better.

“Toto’s a very intelligent man so we have great negotiations and great conversations and naturally, I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13, so it’s very difficult to see myself anywhere else.

“I have never made it a secret that I’ve been a Ferrari fan, particularly Ferrari cars.

“Do I plan on going elsewhere? I haven’t made any plans for my future. At the moment, I’m just enjoying driving with this team."

It's a response which sums up the whole debate, yes it's a nice thought, and you can understand why so many would want it to happen, but in reality, the chances of it happening are very slim.

That's because the Scuderia already has its next lead driver in Charles Leclerc. This means, even if Vettel was to leave now, his replacement would likely be someone who'd work on equal terms with the Monegasque rather than be a dominant figure like Lewis.

Then there's the question of suitability and whether his hectic public life away from F1 would mix with the culture at Maranello.

The appeal of a celebrity like Hamilton at Ferrari is huge, but behind the scenes, would he be as committed to the brand as the Italian team would want?

And what about the relationship with the Tifosi, the same group of fans that booed him out of Monza last season.

Normally, anyone that dresses in red instantly gets their respect, with Vettel being case in point, but would the Briton get a similar pass after years of beating Ferrari?

Don't forget too, Hamilton grew up with McLaren idolising Ayrton Senna and gained the association with Mercedes through his rise up the motorsport ladder.

So whereas Vettel had the desire to follow Michael Schumacher to Italy, that isn't the case with Lewis.

Sure he dreams of owning a Ferrari, who doesn't, but, and this is the final point, he doesn't need to race in one.

Hamilton has already forged his place in the F1 history books and may well place himself at the top in many of the chapters.

So when the day comes that he decides it's time to give it up, he should finish at the top with Mercedes, where his legacy will lie forever.

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