McLaren would be interested in signing Lewis Hamilton if he ends up leaving Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport after the 2018 Formula One season.
The three-year, $150 million contract of four-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is set to expire following the conclusion of the 2018 season, which is set to be his sixth season driving for the team.
While Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff expects Hamilton to sign a contract to remain with the team beyond the 2018 season, no such contract has been signed yet as the 2018 season rapidly approaches.
Should Hamilton become available, McLaren would be interested in signing him. Here is what Zak Brown, the team’s executive director, had to say about this scenario, according to Crash.net.
“I don’t think there’s a team in the pit lane that wouldn’t be interested in having Lewis drive for them, us included. If anyone got Lewis, it would be great for the team. He has a great history here and he is very friendly with the shareholders.”
”I am going to guess that he’s contemplating how much longer he wants to go. If you’re Lewis, with what you’ve done with Mercedes and where Mercedes are headed, you’d re-sign with the team. He’s talked about when he stops, so that would be my guess. I can’t imagine it’s money or the quality of the team.
”He just might be going ‘let me see how this year goes, what’s the rush? They’re not going to sell the seat from underneath me’. That would be my speculation. We might find they actually have signed and are just not telling us.”
McLaren’s two current drivers are two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, a 36-year-old Spaniard who has driven in the sport as a full-time driver for 16 seasons, and Stoffel Vandoorne, a 25-year-old Belgian who has driven in the sport as a full-time driver for one season.
After three straight abysmal seasons with Honda engines, McLaren are set to switch to Renault engines this season. They are expected to be far more successful than they were from the 2015 to 2017 season, but it remains to be seen just how successful they will be with Renault engines.
Hamilton, 33, has driven full-time in Formula One in each of the last 11 seasons. He began his career in the sport in 2007, and he spent the first six seasons of it driving for McLaren. In fact, he won his first championship driving for the team in the 2008 season. He left the team following the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Hamilton came to Mercedes in the 2013 season and has not driving for any other team since that time. Over 11 seasons in the sport so far, he has racked up 62 victories, a total that ranks second on the all-time Formula One wins list behind only the win total of 91 that belongs to the great Michael Schumacher.
He has also won four championships, a total that ranks third on the all-time titles list behind the championship totals of seven and five that belong to Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio, respectively.
However, while there is not a high probability of it happening, Hamilton leaving Mercedes for another team following the conclusion of the 2018 season is certainly a possibility, and McLaren would definitely be interested in signing him if he became available for them to sign.
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Which team will Lewis Hamilton drive for in the 2019 Formula One season? Will he sign a contract to remain with Mercedes, or will he possibly return to McLaren, the team he drove for in the first six seasons of his career in the sport? The 2018 season is set to begin on Sunday, March 25th with the Australian Grand Prix.