Lewis Hamilton has revealed how he briefly considered joining Ferrari but maintains that moment was “short-lived” as Mercedes offers a “family for life”.
The seven-time world champion was a target for Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali during his time as team principal between 2008 to 2014.
But Hamilton has no regrets about remaining loyal to Mercedes, a prolific relationship that has produced six drivers’ titles and seven constructors’ titles.
“I have no reason to think about it,” Hamilton said. “It was a part of…each end of term you have to do your due diligence and see what options you have and I’m really proud of what I have and where I am with Mercedes.
“I think I’ve said it before, it was very short-lived, the idea of going to Ferrari was short-lived in a sense that when you are with Mercedes, you are with a family for life,” Hamilton added.
“If you look at all the historic drivers who have driven for Mercedes, they have been with them until they’re in their 90s and that is something that you don’t see in any other team, with any other brand.
“So that is something that I am very proud of. Plus, we have achieved more than anybody and that is down to great teamwork, that is down to loyalty and so I don’t take that for granted.”
Meanwhile Nico Rosberg believes that Hamilton is “talent-wise, probably the best [Formula 1 driver] of all time” but that Michael Schumacher was far more diligent in his preparation.
“Talent-wise, [Hamilton] probably has to be the best of all time,” Rosberg said. “And he really builds on that, that instinct is phenomenal with him... Lewis deserves [the record] too and if he manages to do that, then good. I see it more and more as, ‘He was really damn fast, and I can be all the more proud that I beat him [in 2016] with the same car back then.”
When asked about the difference in their approach, Rosberg highlighted Schumacher’s attention to detail in the build-up to races. “A big difference is diligence,” he said. “Lewis hates test drives. He doesn’t like test drives. And Michael, he would drive tests every day, even though he is a seven-time world champion. But because he also knows that you can always learn a little bit there.
“He motivates the whole team and gets them behind him, knows all the names, invites them to his house for bike rides and so on, even though he is a seven-time world champion and has 800 million in his bank account or something.”