Jordan: Why Hamilton will only join Ferrari if Wolff goes with him

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Former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan believes Lewis Hamilton will only join Ferrari if Mercedes boss Toto Wolff follows him.

Never has the prospect of the six-time champion wearing red seemed more likely as it does right now after the Italian team confirmed Hamilton has met with chairman John Elkann about a 2021 seat.

However, while the Irishman is confident the blockbuster move will happen, he does think a key factor will make Wolff accompanying Hamilton as essential.

“It would be the right time for Lewis to go to Ferrari [in 2021],” Jordan told the famous British TV show Top Gear. “He’s coming to the end of his career, but he still wants to win his seven or more titles.

“But the real belief that I think Lewis will go to Ferrari in 2021 is that Toto Wolff’s contract expires at the end of next year and he knows Mercedes’ long-term future in Formula 1 is not a certainty.

“Indeed, Lewis has mentioned Toto’s contract on more than one occasion, which is unusual for an F1 driver to do," he noted.

“Lewis would only go to Ferrari if someone could protect him against any possibility that Charles Leclerc could usurp him. So Ferrari would bring Toto along too.

“What they don’t have is that person on the pit wall to guide the team, in terms of how they structure the race strategy. Toto knows that, racing is in his blood, and he’d love to have a name like Ferrari on his CV too.

“I’m absolutely certain that in 2021, Lewis Hamilton will move to Ferrari. Toto goes with him because, as I said, Lewis won’t leave himself exposed, and it will be his way of bringing an equaliser."

Given Leclerc is seen as the long-term leader at Ferrari, it would be odd to see them essentially grow the Monegasque into the position of being equal to Sebastian Vettel only to then put him a step back behind Hamilton.

But as Jordan states: “Do Ferrari need two number ones? No, but they won’t let go of Leclerc.

“It would be a huge feather in Leclerc’s cap to potentially beat Hamilton in the same car. He has the potential to be a great.”

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As for what that would mean for the future of Vettel, Jordan was pretty clear on that too.

“Vettel will retire at the end of 2020. He can’t go back to Red Bull because he’d get creamed by Max Verstappen,” he said.

“However, if Mercedes did decide to stay on in F1, it might work for Vettel to go there; a consolation prize for losing Lewis.”

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