Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has admitted there is a chance his six-time world champion driver Lewis Hamilton could be lured to Ferrari in 2021.
Speculation surrounding Hamilton’s future has been swirling in recent weeks with the Brit, who is out of contract at the end of 2020, being linked to a switch to Ferrari.
Hamilton has flourished since joining the factory Mercedes team from 2013 and has since won five world titles at the Brackley squad, adding to the 2008 title he secured at McLaren.
Wolff however remains reasonably confident the 34-year-old will agree a new deal but is also not ruling out the possibility his driver could be tempted away.
“I would rate it personally – and I’m leaning myself out of the window here – at 75 percent,” said Wolff.
“I think from the rational (side), everything speaks for continuation of the relationship, from both sides. But equally, there is a 25 percent chance that we are not in control of.
“So we’ll see how the next months pan out.”
While Ferrari has so far been unable to topple Mercedes in Formula 1’s hybrid era, Wolff is wary that the prospect of a new challenge could be enough to sway Hamilton.
Hamilton himself made what was seen as a surprise switch at the time to leave a competitive McLaren squad for a Mercedes team that had struggled for success.
“A driver of that level will always know that he can make an impact in a team,” added Wolff.
“What I’m considering is when he left McLaren for Mercedes, it was said that it wasn’t the right move. And it proved to be right.
“I don’t want to make the mistake of underestimating Ferrari’s potential.
“I don’t see a sense of entitlement for us to win the seventh or eighth title. On the contrary, I think we need to stay humble about success.
“If you look at it from a rational standpoint, everything speaks for the fact of us continuing the journey together.
“But then there might be other factors to the new challenge, an exciting deal, that you need to always factor in. I give this a 25 percent chance.”