Lewis Hamilton, at the current moment, is the most celebrated driver in the world right now. Everywhere F1 goes, fans of Lewis Hamilton are in abundant quantity. And rightfully so as well. He’s achieved insane things, broken most of the (positive) records and very close to Schumacher’s 91 race victories and 7 world championships.
He’s spent his entire career in two teams – McLaren and Mercedes. Many speculate that he might end up at Ferrari, with even Toto Wolff agreeing that Ferrari as a brand name is lucrative for every driver on the grid. However considering how he has always prevailed over Sebastian Vettel over the years, not many Ferrari fans are fond of him. Among millions of fans, he does enjoy thousands of haters as well.
However, Lewis Hamilton has revealed that many Ferrari fans have asked him to join the glamorous team, something he feels very proud of.
“I’m very lucky, I do have a good Italian following. I think Germany’s maybe the biggest area where my clothes sell but Italy also is one of the bigger areas, maybe just because they’re really into fashion and like good clothes. But I think it’s grown a lot over the years. It takes a long time to shift perception.
You still come here and stand on top of the podium and 90-plus percent is all Ferrari fans and often they come here and I’ve made the weekend not so great for Ferrari fans by having Mercedes on the top step. But I appreciate and respect them a huge amount.
“In fact when I now come a lot of Ferrari fans ask me to come to Ferrari so it’s quite cool. I get a lot of messages from Ferrari fans who say ‘I’m a Ferrari fan but I respect you’. So I think it’s growing slowly, bit by bit. It’ll never be the same as if I was driving for the Ferrari team but nonetheless, bit by bit, it’s shifting.”
While Lewis seeks immense pride in being part of the Mercedes family, much like every other driver on the grid, he might have a soft spot for Ferrari. And who would be better to return the glory in Maranello than the man who was himself responsible for stealing it from them? The tifosi might not like him currently, but might accept him with open arms if and when he comes.
He will be hoping to take this strong Italian support to overcome the thousands of Italian fans who will be cheering every other second for Ferrari. Last year’s Italian Grand Prix was particularly interesting when Hamilton crushed more than a few Italian dreams. He was only third on the grid with Raikkonen and Vettel taking the first and second place respectively. Vettel made a blunder and Raikkonen wasn’t quick on race pace allowing Hamilton to take the lead and the eventual victory. It was redemption.
For schedule of the Italian Grand Prix, check this.