Drive to Survive S6 shows Hamilton pledging future to Mercedes before Ferrari U-turn


Season 6 of Drive to Survive shows Lewis Hamilton stating his dedication to Mercedes, before he later signed a Ferrari contract

Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton smile for cameras

Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton have worked together for ten years – but the partnership will end in 2025

Lewis Hamilton said he could never envisage himself driving for another team apart from Mercedes – just months before then committing to Ferrari for 2025.

As shown in the new series of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, after serious initial doubts Hamilton is eventually persuaded to stay with the Silver Arrows, saying “There just never feels like a time,” when he would not be at Brackley.

In the episode centred around the Mercedes driver Hamilton shows considerable discontent with the situation at the team in 2023, which is suffering a second poor year in a row.

A ‘hot laps’ day with team guests is used to demonstrate Hamilton’s impatience with the situation as a whole – he’s keen to get back to winning ways.

Lewis Hamilton Netflix Drive to Surive S6

Hamilton pledges his immediate future to Mercedes – as covered by Netflix


“My goal is to get back on top, I’m trying to win a world championship again – but we get in the 2023 car and it’s the evil sister,” he says despondently.

“I can’t really remember [the feeling of] winning, if I can be honest. It is what it is, we have to acknowledge that we did not get it right, we took the wrong decisions, and start making really big strides in the right direction – before it’s too late.

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“When the car’s terrible, I feel helpless. I can try and deliver each weekend, but you can only do so much with what you’ve got.”

One of Hamilton’s key qualms throughout the last two seasons has been that the team is not designing its car to the specifications of F1’s most successful driver ever – despite repeated requests.

“Last year I remember complaining to the team, being like: ‘Look, we have to make these changes otherwise this the trajectory we’re going to go on and this is where going to end up – please, please do something about it,” he says.

“And they said ‘We know what we’re doing, you’re wrong,’ and that was definitely an interesting moment.” It’s clear that the team’s dismissal of his concerns stings.

“We have a car which is not where we would like it to be,” Wolff tells Netflix. “And then, obviously, Lewis is not impressed.”

In light of the poor performance, rumours began to swirl in early 2023 that Hamilton could link up with Ferrari instead. When questioned on the mounting stories at the Monaco GP press conference, Hamilton says, “I think naturally when you’re in the contract negotiations there’s always going to be speculation – and I think ultimately unless you hear from me, that’s all it is: speculation.”

Sparks from Lewis Hamilton Mercedes at 2023 F1 Belgian GP

Hamilton’s struggles with the recent Mercedes cars caused him to consider his future at Brackley

Wolfgang Wilhelm/Mercedes

When pressed and asked if the Scuderia has been in touch, he gives a definitive “No”.

Despite more difficult races, 2023 was an impressive year for Hamilton, clearly maximising his opportunities and almost taking runner-up spot from Sergio Perez in the far more competitive Red Bull. The gradual improvement of Mercedes seemed to soften its driver’s stance.

Eventually in the Netflix episode, Hamilton says that in 2023 the team then conceded that it should have listened to the seven-time champion’s concerns, and a reconciliation then follows between him and Wolff which eventually contributes him to signing a new contract.

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“Last year, the development of the car, you weren’t happy with me,” admits the team boss in a one-to-one meeting. “You know, sticking to the [2022] concept, that was a failure – holding on to it because of the encouraging results at the end [of that season].”

Hamilton then stresses that time is running out for him to add an eighth title to his achievements.

“Me neither,” he replies when Wolff says he doesn’t want to wait till the new 2026 regulations for a better car. “You can be here for 20 more years – I can’t wait, these are precious years for me. I dunno…”

Wolff tries to persuade Hamilton by saying he’s much more than a racing driver, emphasising that he’s one of the key figures who leads the team.

Eventually he gets the Brit onside, who signs a new-two year deal. “OK we’ve had two difficult years, but I still have so much belief that Mercedes and all the people in this team have the ability to build a great car,” claims Hamilton. “You’ve just got to take a leap of faith. There just never feels like a time when I’m not gonna be a Mercedes driver”

“The thought of Lewis in a Ferrari, in a red overall, it wouldn’t suit him,” adds Wolff.

However last month it was announced that the seven-time champ had in fact signed a Ferrari contract – his Silver Arrows deal had a get-out clause in it, meaning Hamilton would move to the Scuderia for 2025.

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