Lewis Hamilton has admitted defeat in fulfilling his dream of driving for Ferrari in the near future after the Italian team tied down Sebastian Vettel to a new three-year deal prior to the recently concluded Belgian Grand Prix (27 August) . The Briton won the race in Spa Francorchamps to reduce the gap with the German in the championship to seven points.
It was not the first time that the three-time world champion has expressed a desire to don the red overalls of the legendary Formula One team and he believes that every driver on the grid wishes the same.
"It's definitely a dream for every driver, including me," Hamilton said, as quoted by Sky Sports. "Whether or not l will ever be there...I guess definitely not in the next four years or whatever it is - three years."
Hamilton is contracted to Mercedes until the end of the end of the 2018 season but Toto Wolff has confirmed that there will be no talks about a potential extension before the end of the season. Vettel was linked with a move to the Silver Arrows team before he committed to the Scuderia team, but the Briton is confident that the German will not join the team, while he is still part of Mercedes.
The 31-year-old driver was referring to Ferrari's policy of creating a pecking order within the team depending on which driver is leading the championship. They have shown more than once this season that they are willing to favour the German in order to champion his title bid, while Mercedes have allowed their drivers to race each other without issuing team orders.
"I know Seb doesn't want to be my team-mate," the former McLaren driver added. "He wouldn't be in the position he is now in his team, in terms of how the team operates, if he was here."
According to Sky Sports, Vettel had a clause in his previous contract that would prevent Ferrari from re-signing Fernando Alonso while he is part of the team, but there is no such clause in the new deal which will allow them to bring in any driver from the grid once Kimi Raikkonen calls time on his career.
Hamilton is not ready to give up on his dream to join Ferrari and believes a lot of the drivers on the grid will be eyeing Raikkonen's seat, which could be up for grabs sooner rather than later compared to Vettel. The Finn signed a new one-year deal ahead of the race at Spa Francorchamps, but the Mercedes driver is certain that the 37-year-old is in the final years of his F1 career.
"They're very loyal to the drivers they have," Hamilton added. "For all us other drivers, and particularly those that aren't in a Mercedes or a Ferrari, there's one opportunity that might come up in the future because Kimi [Raikkonen] is not going to keep going on forever. So I'm sure they'll be working hard to try and get that spot."