No sooner had Lewis Hamilton celebrated his Silverstone heroics than he admitted he was not sure if he would race in the British Grand Prix again.
At least part of the triple world champion’s uncertainty appears to be linked to whether his title rival Sebastian Vettel commits his long-term future to Ferrari.
As Sportsmail reported on Saturday, Hamilton has confided to friends that he hankers after a move to the Italian team, relighting a desire his father Anthony openly talked about a decade ago.
Lewis Hamilton admits he is uncertain over his future with 18 months left on his Mercedes deal
Asked whether he would see out his contract at Mercedes, which has one season to run, Hamilton said: ‘I can’t really say what is going to happen six months from now, except to say I am loving racing. I am at my best. You could say it (stopping or moving) is unlikely but you can’t predict what frame of mind I will be in at Christmas.’
It is impossible to second-guess Hamilton’s next move given his own uncertainty, but it seems likely he will wait to see which way Vettel jumps before committing to any of the three options that might then be open to him: to stay at Mercedes, to quit the sport, or to join Ferrari.
There is believed to be a clause in Hamilton’s contract that would allow him to go earlier than next year. If Vettel joins Mercedes, they could conceivably swap places.
Vettel’s position is intriguing. Ferrari chief executive Sergio Marchionne is on record as saying the German, who becomes a free agent this winter, has been offered a new three-year contract, but that he has yet to sign it. It appears that Vettel, who leads Hamilton by a single point in the overall standings, is waiting to gauge Ferrari’s long-term competitive prospects before shutting the door on Mercedes.