Is Hamilton eyeing Raikkonen's Ferrari seat post-2015?

© F1 Pulse, 13 June 2014
© Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has been reported by the Italian media to have paid Maranello a visit recently firing wild rumours that the British driver is potentially seeking to switch teams.

The speculation gains even further ground after unsubstantial rumours emerged in the paddock during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend that Ferrari was considering dropping the struggling Kimi Raikkonen.

However, the prospect was shot down with La Gazzetta reporting that Hamilton visited the Italian town only to check out Ferrari’s exotic road cars to add to his collection.

The visit could be Hamilton's "political manoeuvre" to hint at Mercedes that the German manufacturer needs to offer plenty of support as he battles for the championship this season or a negotiation tactic to further talks beyond his current contract.

Mercedes has made it clear repeatedly that it will allow its two drivers to battle it out for the title and that there was no favourite tag within the team.

Currently, Nico Rosberg leads the championship by 22 points from teammate Hamilton, who has been handicapped by two DNFs, with the latest one afflicting the Briton in Montreal.

HAMILTON, RAIKKONEN CONTRACTS END IN 2015

Hamilton had signed a three-year contract with Mercedes starting last year, which will see the 2008 world champion with the team at least until the end of 2015.

At Ferrari, meanwhile, Raikkonen’s two-year contract is up at the end of 2015 and Alonso’s deal with Ferrari is up at the end of 2016.

Hamilton was previously in talks with Ferrari in 2012, when he was at McLaren. He switched to Mercedes the following year.

Recent reports in the British media suggested that McLaren contacted Hamilton to return to Woking, indicating that the Briton has been making himself available in the driver market.

"If Hamilton were to lose the title to Rosberg, imagine the trauma that would accompany that outcome," reports the Daily Mail. "It is easy to imagine he would feel increasingly unloved, prompting a souring in his relationship with the team. Suddenly, he would not be able to get out of the place fast enough."

 

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