Hamilton: Mercedes loyalty counters Ferrari temptation
Lewis Hamilton says his loyalty to Mercedes would play a factor in overriding the potential temptation of signing for Ferrari before his Formula 1 career is over.
Hamilton has been linked to the Scuderia over many stages of his career, and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff earlier this year admitted he would understand if Hamilton were to seek a run in the red car before retiring.
However, when a potential future switch was put to Hamilton, he was quick to point out where his loyalties lie.
"I don't know if it's about being tempted," Hamilton said. "I think it's about whether it's part of the game plan.
"I was just asked the question, 'how would you feel if you ended your career without being at Ferrari?'
"Honestly, when you're part of Mercedes, you're part of a family for a lifetime, provided you stay with them obviously.
"If you look at Stirling Moss, even [Juan Manuel] Fangio is still honoured within the family… you're part of their history, and they look after you for the rest of your life.
"That is important to me. Loyalty is a very, very key part.
"But if there's a point in my life where there's something I want to change, then that could potentially be an option. I don't know if that is at the moment."
Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas were booed on the Monza podium last year after the Brit pipped Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to victory, but the five-time champion says he has a good rapport with Italian fans.
"I have a lot of fans here in Italy. I sell most of my clothes in Germany, then in Italy. Over the years, I have gained many followers here," he said.
"I've had the privilege of often being on the podium here, and even if ninety percent or more want a Ferrari win here, I get very nice messages from the Italians. They write in the sense of: 'Well, our heart beats for Ferrari, but we respect your achievements.'
"Basically it might change, but only if I drive a Ferrari. And the Tifosi say again and again: 'Come on to Ferrari!'"
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