Ferrari's failure to land Hamilton will be 'sliding doors' moment

Ferrari’s failure to land Lewis Hamilton will go down as a ‘sliding doors’ moment, says former team boss Stefano Domenicali after the Mercedes star admitted he will ‘never know why’ he hasn’t raced for F1 giants

  • Lewis Hamilton revealed he always dreamed of racing for Ferrari as a child 
  • Their former boss said their failure to snare him will be a ‘sliding doors’ moment 
  • The British racer has instead won seven championships with Mercedes

The possibility of Lewis Hamilton ever joining Ferrari has ‘passed’ admits former team boss Stefano Domenicali – who says their failure to sign him will be remembered as a ‘sliding doors’ moment. 

Last week the British star admitted it had always been his ‘dream’ to race for Ferrari and said he ‘will never know why’ their paths have never crossed, despite enjoying a hugely successful career with Mercedes that has seen him win seven F1  championships. 

Domenicali, who was team principal of Ferrari between 2008 and 2014 and is now CEO of Formula One, confirmed there were talks about bringing Hamilton to the team during his time in charge, but said the 36-year-old had made the a good decision to race for Mercedes after an ‘incredible career’. 

Ferrari’s failure to sign Lewis Hamilton will be ‘sliding doors moment’, says Stefano Domenicali

The former Ferrari boss revealed his team did make a move to bring the British star on board

‘This is true and we discussed that, but I think the answer that Lewis was able to give was the right one,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘I think that period of him [joining Ferrari] has passed away.

‘There are moments in life, there is a movie that is very important to remember, Sliding Doors. There are moments where if you get into a elevator and you stay on another floor, so that was the situation with Lewis in that specific time of his life.

‘But I don’t think he can blame his choice, at least, because he has had an incredible career.’

Hamilton also came close to switching from the Silver Arrows to Ferrari in 2019 after holding talks with chairman John Elkan, but the move never came to fruition and he recently signed a new two-year deal with Toto Wolff’s team.

Yet the British star opened up on his confusion as to how a switch never materialised, before revealing that he has considered quitting the sport altogether.

The Mercedes star admitted racing for Ferrari had always been his ‘dream’ growing up 

‘For many years, when I came to Monza, walking next to the fans… I could hear them saying “Come to Ferrari!”‘ he told Sky Sport Italia. 

‘This warmed my heart, but it’s pretty amazing that I’ve never driven for Ferrari in so many years. Because it is a dream for anyone, a goal to be achieved. 

‘It has never really been possible and I will never quite know exactly why. I wish them the best and in my near future I will continue to prevent them from winning the world championship. 

‘I’ve seen photos of their drivers and red is always red. I have a couple of Ferraris at home. I can drive those, but not the Ferrari F1.’

Hamilton added that thoughts of leaving F1 come in ‘waves’, but that he is determined to extract everything from his career before he retires.

‘That thought often happens to me. It’s like a wave,’ he revealed.  ‘It comes and goes, there have been many occasions in the last four or five years when I didn’t know if I still wanted to try, sacrifice myself with training at the expense of personal life.

The 36-year-old has since won seven championships with Mercedes but admits he is puzzled why he has never raced for the famous Italian team

‘There are other things I like to do. So many things I would like to try. But on the other hand I tell myself that I am so lucky to be doing this job. 

‘In a rather long period of time, the career in the car becomes only a small part, there is a lot of time to retire. It is a question of finding the balance. 

‘I tell myself that if I am still hungry and I train like I was a boy, which I am doing, and if I still get great results… [but] if I find myself slower, lacking strength to train, and unmotivated, then I’ll know it’s time to stop.’

Hamilton clinched his 100th F1 victory on Sunday in Sochi after triumphing at the Russian Grand Prix. That win sees him restore his slim world championship lead of just two points over Max Verstappen with seven races remaining.  

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