Will Hamilton ever leave McLaren?

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    OK, people have wondered about it but not recently. I’ve been thinking about long-term prospects in F1 and while one can picture the likes of Vettel or Button going around, Hamilton looks stuck in McLaren for a long time.

    Could he actually have a F1 career spanning a single team or he’ll search for something else one day? What’s your opinion in the matter?

    Prisoner Monkeys

    He has said that he’d be happy to spend his entire career at McLaren. And McLaren certainly won’t give him up without a fight. A rumour at the end of 2007 said Ferrari had been ordered to pull out all the stops to secure Hamilton for 2008 and beyond because Maranello saw him as the next Michael Schumacher. But the Stepney Affair happened and there was never much substance to the rumour to begin with and it was never hear again.


    I don’t think so, the only other place he may go is Mercedes & the only way he is leaving Mclaren if something very horrible happens within the team.


    He’s been on their payroll since he was 12(?)

    He’s not likely to go anywhere unless McLaren have a sustained period of non-success, and even then he’s only likely to change if a top drive is available.

    After walking into a top drive he’s not likely to want to be fighting over P10 in a regular midfield team, he’d probably rather walk away…


    he was very close to seriously consider leaving the team in the first half of 2009..just give him an average car, a chance to complain about it and you’ll see his insurmountable loyalty to McLaren vanish


    Great thread Alexi.

    I’ll say yes he will leave but not for a while. Mclaren (esp with their engine switch) could suddenly drop off the pace even if it is unlikely for a team of such high quality, they could have some row, find someone better or Lewis may decide he wants to try something new.

    The chances of him staying at Mclaren forever are so slim particularly because he is still quite young and coudl easily have a decade or more in the sport still. Although things are lovely now they can change. I barely know what’s going on right now with F1 never mind for the rest of his career :P If he did stay with Mclaren forever though I wouldn’t be shocked. The only other person who seems as devoted to their team right now is Massa and I really do enjoy seeing a driver actually really care about his team.

    If he did stay throughout it all and there were some bad times chucked in I’d like Lewis a lot more for that loyalty. If he did try somewhere new though I’d probably rate him a tiny a bit more just for throwing himself in the deep end! Pretty sure he’d handle it fine though.


    I cant see any other team being able to cope with him. Also didn’t he have a deal with Ron Dennis that if he wins 3 championships he gets a special edition F1?


    I’d like to see him leave McLaren at some point, though it looks to be at least three or so years so he can get that car off Ron. Don’t get me wrong, Stewart won all his title in the same team and is an undisputed great but I’d like to see Hamilton cement himself by winning with two different teams, not many have done that. Red Bull as they are now would be a great fit but who knows in a few years’ time? Once upon a time I imagined a Ferrari move but that would be very difficult. However it would be great to see the Ferrari mentality tested in such a strong way if he went there and was successful. Raikkonen and Alonso went from enemies to beloved sons, it would be interesting to see if Hamilton could do the same.


    I reckon it all depends whether McLaren do a Massa08esq job on the development of the MP4-26. If they develop a neutral car which Jenson and Lewis can get the same amount of pace out of then it’s likely that the love in will continue as long as McLaren stay competitive. If however Jenson finds the car much more to his preference then you’d have to consider how long Hamilton would put up with his less talented team mate calling the stops, everyone said Kimi’s motivation went down pretty fast, although that’s debatable.


    It would be interesting to see Hamilton at Ferrari one day even though it would be a bit unlikely if Ferrari is looking at Kubica as a long term prospect right now.

    As for RBR I think that will be Button’s destination after Webber retires in two years or so.

    Red Andy

    he was very close to seriously consider leaving the team in the first half of 2009

    Good point Glue, we all remember that Anthony was sniffing around trying to get Lewis a seat at Brawn after he felt that McLaren had damaged Lewis’ reputation by … um … Lewis lying to the stewards.

    Seriously, I think as long as McLaren are building competitive cars and capable of winning races and championships, there will be no complaints from Hamilton. But if McLaren slipped back into, say, their mid-90s levels of competitiveness (which is only likely to happen if they can’t get a decent engine to replace Mercedes once they depart), then Lewis will be on the first (prancing?) horse out of there.


    I don’t think Hamilton or Mclaren would leave each other. but it’s not impossible. as Senna left Mclaren, he could leave when hard time goes on. Senna was the most superior driver in early 1990s, but even he couln’t beat strong Williams-Renault 2 years in row. If Hamilton doesn’t feel Mclaren woulb improve in short, He will consider to go other strong team seriously.


    Without Ron Dennis Hamilton has more chances of leaving McLaren, but I don’t think it will happen in near future.


    I remember some silly rumours about Hamilton going to Brawn but glue, Hamilton was thinking of leaving the sport entirely so you’ve got it mixed up there (on a side note, thank god Anthony isn’t involved anymore, maybe it was stunts like that that influenced the separation). Of course most drivers will leave a team to go to a better one so McLaren had better hope they don’t turn into Williams if they want to keep Hamilton.

    Then again, how many people thought Button would be at McLaren this year? Guessing the future is very risky in F1.

    Fer no.65

    it could happen. I bet no one thought about Schumacher and Ferrari go be racing each other. Yet it’s happening this year.

    Everything is possible then. Even Alonso left Flavio Briatore’s Renault team at the end of 2005.

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