It’s already been the craziest F1 silly season in recent memory with both Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel set to leave their current teams, but it got even more bizarre with rumors in the F1 blogosphere suggesting that world championship leader Lewis Hamilton was also set to bolt his team to return to McLaren, despite being already under contract for 2015.
For what it’s worth, McLaren denied this latest twist, saying that tales of Hamilton having recently visited the team’s Woking, UK headquarters to diiscuss a deal as being “utterly without foundation.”
The rumor may have been set off by McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who told Britain’s Sky TV during the Japanese GP weekend that he was still completely open-minded when asked about the team’s future driver situation. “There’s no impediment for Lewis Hamilton coming back. There’s no impediment for Fernando Alonso coming back. And there’s no impediment for Kevin [Magnussen] and Jenson [Button] staying,” he told Sky.
If Hamilton is planning another bolt-from-the-blue move like the one that took him from his longtime home at McLaren to Mercedes, he’s covering his tracks well. He told Germany’s Sport Bild this week that he had never had any thoughts about leaving Mercedes despite his tensions with teammate Nico Rosberg this year.
“I never have had. Mercedes is one of the coolest and most traditional brands in the world,” said Hamilton. “I feel very happy here – for me it’s like a family. The team and I have a positive feeling that we should work together.”
Hamilton’s former McLaren teammate Alonso remains widely tipped to rejoin his former team, with Vettel apparently set – although still not confirmed – to take his place at Ferrari.