Formula 1: Dark horse team emerging for Lewis Hamilton in 2024?

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

Lewis Hamilton is still without a Mercedes contract for the 2024 Formula 1 season, and a surprise suitor has emerged as a possibility. But just how feasible would it be?

Lewis Hamilton’s most recent contract extension with Mercedes came during the hotly contested 2021 Formula 1 season, when he signed a two-year contract to remain with the team through 2023.

It marked his second contract extension of the year, as he had signed a one-year deal before the 2021 season to become the 20th and final driver confirmed as a part of the grid.

Hamilton, now in his 11th season with the Silver Arrows, is still without a deal to compete in 2024. Rumors about his future have clearly frustrated the 38-year-old Briton, to the point where he has called out certain individuals for merely speculating.

But anything less than intense speculation about a seven-time world champion and 103-time Grand Prix winner would be an abnormality, especially if he remains without a new Mercedes deal as the season progresses.

While Hamilton has done and said all the right things since last year, when Mercedes saw their eight-year streak of constructor championships come to an abrupt end, it is not exactly a secret that he is frustrated.

Last week, he was quoted as accusing the team of not taking his feedback regarding last year’s W13, and by association, this year’s W14.

Hamilton, who won six titles in a seven-year span, has not won one since 2020, and the 2022 season brought an end to his 15-year winning streak. Mercedes, which averaged almost 14 wins per year from 2014 to 2021, won only a single race, courtesy of George Russell.

Before Russell, no Hamilton teammate had beaten Hamilton in the standings since Nico Rosberg won the 2016 world championship. No teammate had beaten Hamilton without winning the title since Jenson Button at McLaren in 2011.

Understandably, Hamilton has said that he wants to win what would be a record-breaking eighth world championship before he retires.

But will an eighth Formula 1 title for Lewis Hamilton happen with Mercedes?

Every few years or so, Hamilton is linked to Ferrari, and that is the case again, even though both of their drivers are under contract through 2024. But a new potential suitor has emerged, and talk of a potential move has heated up after this year’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, which saw Hamilton place fifth ahead of Russell in seventh.

Could Hamilton team up with former McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso, who finished in third place in Bahrain, at a resurgent Aston Martin team?

The thought of Hamilton-Alonso pairing, given how that went 16 years ago, will lead many to not even consider it. Plus, the move would require team owner Lawrence Stroll to effectively fire his own son Lance, who did a stellar job in Bahrain himself, finishing in sixth place with multiple broken bones.

But could the potential reward outweigh the cons?

Red Bull are clearly the sport’s top team at the moment, but Aston Martin seem to have the package most likely to challenge them after Alonso was able to pass both Mercedes and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr.

Plus, the resemblance of Aston Martin’s AMR23 to Red Bull’s RB18 from a year ago is striking, and performance-wise, it’s hard to argue against.

Hamilton’s “norm” is a second place finish being a “bad race”, and it’s been that way for the better part of his career. But while everybody always talks about Mercedes eventually figuring it out and being “back”, we can’t ignore the fact that this is truly a new era of Formula 1 following the sweeping new rules and regulations of 2022.

A chance at an eighth world championship might just require a bold move, and unlike a potential switch to Ferrari, a switch to Aston Martin would keep Hamilton behind the wheel of a Mercedes-powered car, as he has been throughout the entirety of his 17-year career thus far.

Right now, it might seem preposterous. But we’ve seen moves that seem crazy come to fruition before, and not just in Formula 1. Who saw Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots after 19 years? Who saw Kyle Busch leaving Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota after 15? The mere suggestions of such scenarios drew laughs. Yet here we are.

Next. All-time Formula 1 wins list. dark

Until Hamilton puts the pen to paper, everything is on the table.