Briatore tells Ferrari: Focus on Leclerc and the car, not Hamilton

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Former Formula 1 team boss Flavio Briatore believes Ferrari should focus elsewhere rather than on signing Lewis Hamilton for 2021.

The potential blockbuster move appeared to take a step closer last year when it emerged the six-time world champion had met with chairman John Elkann potentially on more than one occasion.

Since then, the possibility of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff following Hamilton has also been touted, but Briatore believes Ferrari should have other priorities.

"Hamilton in Maranello in 2021? Between him and Charles Leclerc, I would keep Leclerc and it also costs less," he told Italian broadcaster Rai.

"Toto Wolff in Ferrari in 2021? He is a shareholder at Mercedes. It does not make sense to go to work as an employee of another team, then it would not be the solution to the problems.

"Ferrari needs a leader. What is important is the car," the ex-Benetton and Renault boss claimed.

"Renault, for example, gave [Daniel] Ricciardo a boatload of money, but it was better to invest it in the development of the car.

"Ferrari must work to have a car half a tenth from Mercedes, then the driver makes the difference."

As for Hamilton himself, he suggested Mercedes remained his most likely team for 2021 but at this point of his career, it was worth having a peak around.

“Naturally everything that happens behind closed doors is obviously always private with whoever it is you end up sitting with,” he said via

“But I think for many, many years I’ve never ever sat down and considered other options because we’re just driving straight ahead on the path that we’ve been on and the journey that we’ve been on.

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“To be honest, I still think we’re on that path and I think there’s very little that’s going to shift it from that. 

“I love where I am so it’s definitely not a quick decision to do something else, but of course I think it’s only smart and wise for me to sit and think of what I want, if it is the last period or stage in my career. 

“Actually I want to keep winning,” he added. “I want to keep being able to fight with these guys [Ferrari and Red Bull] as well. I can’t really tell you what else is going to happen moving forward."

Always happy to add his opinion, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko doesn't see Hamilton's meetings as destabilising to Ferrari but merely simple politics.

“I don’t think so, this is about new contracts," he told Motorsport-Total. 

"If Lewis meets the top people ar Ferrari, this would be an important financial discussion and negotiation. This is a political game that is part of Formula 1. Everything is tested at the highest levels.”