Ferrari should look into signing Lewis Hamilton for the 2024 Formula 1 season, says ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert.

Hamilton is out of contract at the end of the 2023 campaign but has asserted on multiple occasions that he expects to re-sign with Mercedes.

Hamilton has endured a difficult year-and-a-half with Mercedes, who has been unable to compete at the front of the field.

The Briton’s last F1 race win came at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Shortly after his last win in Jeddah, Hamilton missed out on an eighth F1 title in dramatic circumstances in Abu Dhabi.

Despite not having a title-contending car for two seasons, Herbert believes that Hamilton is still motivated to claim a record-breaking eighth championship.

“As a racing driver I don’t see why he would not have the motivation, especially for that eighth title,” Herbert told Ice36.   

“He is still good enough. I know what it means for him.  George Russell is doing a cracking job but Lewis has still got what it takes to win races.   

“He is not comfortable with the car, but that happens. Every single driver I know has moments when they feel uncomfortable with their car and complain. 

“It is unfair to criticise Lewis for that. The motivation for the eighth is still there.”

Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 from McLaren, a move that was highly controversial at the time.

Herbert says that Ferrari, who is enduring its own struggles, could adopt a similar strategy to bring Hamilton to Maranello.

“It [an eighth F1 title] has to have the right ingredients – like he did when he went from McLaren to Mercedes when a number of people, including myself, thought he was mad to do it,” he said.

“Mercedes at that point were nowhere. What Niki Lauda and Ross Brawn were able to present to him excited him. That’s why he went.

“Ferrari have got to do a similarly big selling job. Lewis hasn’t signed his extension and that enables him, if he is still motivated, to look elsewhere.

“And why wouldn’t he? Ferrari has to be the option. He is not going to go to Red Bull, that isn’t going to happen. He is not going to go to Aston Martin either.

“I know Ferrari have not quite been able to achieve what we all expect Ferrari to achieve, but they certainly have the potential to be able to do it. That’s for sure.

“They have got closer over the past couple of years but it hasn’t quite worked out.

“Maybe he wants to hold on to see which direction Mercedes has gone and what they do, which is not very positive, and then maybe put the feelers out for somewhere else.

“The red car makes the most sense. If it happened, then the one who would suffer would be Carlos Sainz as Charles Leclerc is already concreted in.

“Hamilton and Sainz at Ferrari would be a wonderful pairing, to be honest. 

“The young and the experienced, fighting it out in a Ferrari that hopefully, with the whole ability that Lewis has, to draw in the right people to be able to produce a car and take it to Red Bull as it is at the moment.”

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