Lewis Hamilton Retirement Could Trigger Whack F1 Silly Season With Lando Norris in a Ferrari Seat

Published 01/24/2023, 12:30 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after winning the race with McLaren’s Lando Norris who finished P7 Pool via REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov

Everything in F1 is super fragile. Two such examples we witnessed last year were the drivers’ silly season and the team principals’ silly season. Another such season could be coming our way again, and this time it will not be triggered by any rookie, but by the veteran of the sport, Lewis Hamilton. And if it does get triggered, well, we may see some outrageous changes on the grid.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

According to the former Ferrari team and sponsorship manager Peter Windsor, the prancing horse can go all out for Lando Norris, if Lewis Hamilton decides to exit the driver’s seat at Mercedes. And you may wonder, “Who would Norris replace?” Well, it would be Charles Leclerc if the Monegasque was tempted by Mercedes in the first place.

28.03.2019- Official Fia press conference, Lando Norris (GBR) Mclaren F1 Team MCL34 (L) and Charles Leclerc (MON) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 (R(

Windsor believes the silly season would begin if Lewis retires at the end of 2023 or 2024. A reason for Leclerc’s interest in Mercedes could be his expiring contract at the end of 2024, possibly making it an easy signing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Windsor, as quoted by PlanetF1, on his Twitch stream said, “Let’s say Lewis stops at the end of ‘24 – let’s say ’23 and see how we go – I would imagine Toto is going to try and go for Charles Leclerc. Let’s assume Leclerc went from Ferrari to Mercedes to replace Lewis, which is not a completely stupid assumption, what then would Ferrari do? I think they would go massively all out to get Lando.”

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – July 10, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc celebrates on the podium after winning the Austrian Grand Prix as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after placing third REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

“And I think Lando at that point would find it quite hard to say no, putting aside all the contractual stuff because I do think that at that level, they can afford to [buy a driver out of their contract].”

However, all of this rests on the scenario when Hamilton retires. If he decides to do it a bit late, then maybe things will not flutter as much as they would if it happens within a year or so.

Would McLaren welcome Lando Norris’s request for separation?

Lando Norris’ case will be heavily influenced by whether McLaren lets him go easily because he signed a contract that runs until the end of 2025. Convincing Zak Brown would be crucial for Norris since the reported project has rested upon him so far.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 12: Second placed Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren F1 celebrates with McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown and McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl after the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 12, 2021 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

So, according to Windsor, Lando would reason with Zak Brown, “Lando would probably say to Zak, ‘look, everything’s been great. We had Daniel, everything was fine, and then you put Piastri in the car and it’s a mess now. I didn’t want it, you’ve done it, I’m out of here, now.’ That’s probably what he would say.”

Given the belief that the prancing horse always carries in its name, a seat in a Ferrari would be appealing to Lando. And for sure, Russell competing alongside Charles will be a sight to behold.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Victorious Lewis Hamilton & George Russell Share Heartwarming Post-Sprint Moment at Brazilian GP

On the other hand, while Red Bull already has its eyes set on Max Verstappen and vice versa, the vacuum will be created at Mercedes, which will suck in other drivers on the grid, and there will be plenty of hopping all over. The teams will be looking for their next star, but Horner and the squad will be watching the spectacle.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Manan Goel

88 articles

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK