Zak Brown recently discussed the possibility of Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes and reuniting with McLaren for the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Lewis Hamilton has been competing with Mercedes throughout his entire Formula 1 career, but the first part of his career, which lasted from 2007 to 2012, was spent driving for McLaren.
After the 2012 season, he replaced seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher at Mercedes, and starting with the dawn of the V6 turbo hybrid era in 2014, he and the team have been unstoppable.
Mercedes have won seven driver and constructor championships in a row, with Hamilton winning six titles of his own to tie Schumacher atop the all-time titles list.
But there is much uncertainty about the 36-year-old’s future with the Silver Arrows.
Such uncertainty has been festering for about a year or so, but it has really taken off after he signed only a one-year deal to return to the Brackley-based team for 2021.
For over a month, he was actually no longer an official member of the team after his previous contract expired, and given what his demands were said to be, the fact that he only signed a one-year deal rung alarm bells for many. As a result, there has been fresh speculation that the 2021 season will be his last with the team and that they will either promote Mercedes junior driver George Russell, whose contract with Williams expires at the end of the year, or sign Max Verstappen away from Red Bull, given the performance clause in his deal — or possibly even both.
But would such a scenario result in Hamilton retiring or simply moving to a new team?
We’ve already heard comments from Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll saying that it would be hard to pass up the opportunity to sign Hamilton if he becomes available without actually retiring.
Making it happen would be another story, however.
But what about his former team, McLaren?
He would still be driving a Mercedes-powered car and likely finish his career with them, given the fact that the Woking-based team rekindled their partnership with the manufacturer after spending three seasons with Honda from 2015 to 2017 and three seasons with Renault from 2018 to 2020.
However, we can already cross this off the long list of possibilities regarding the 2022 driver market.
Again, the opportunity would be hard to pass up, but McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that it is not going to happen.
Because of where McLaren are with youngster Lando Norris, who signed with the team long before making his Formula 1 debut in 2019, and Daniel Ricciardo, who has joined the team for the 2021 season on a multi-year deal, the team have no particular interest in signing Hamilton for a return which would come 10 years after his departure.
Here is what Brown had to say about the matter before the season began, according to the Daily Mail.
‘Where we are today, no, because we are really happy with Daniel and Lando and have them under long-term contracts. If I had an opening, would I put Lewis in the car? Of course, but we are trying to build for the future, hence this kind of youth-and-experience combination.
“You feel if you brought Lewis back now it would be for a one or two-year journey and we know we are not ready to compete for championships, so we need to set up a driver line-up that gets us to that position and that when we reach it they are ready. Daniel is ready now, of course. I don’t think the timing is right for Lewis.’
Fortunately for Hamilton, it is looking more and more likely that he will be back with Mercedes in 2022, given recent comments he made public and the comments that team boss Toto Wolff added to those remarks.
There are three races on the 2021 schedule in the books, and the fourth, the Spanish Grand Prix, is set to be broadcast live on ESPN from Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET tomorrow. Hamilton is a five-time winner and a four-time reigning winner of the race.