Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone tips Ferrari to sign Max Verstappen over Lewis Hamilton

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Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes Ferrari would be more likely sign Max Verstappen than Lewis Hamilton.

Talk of Lewis Hamilton one day joining Ferrari refuses to die down despite his incredible enduring success with pit-lane rivals Mercedes.

The 34-year-old could swap the Silver Arrows for the Prancing Horse next winter when his contract expires at the end of the 2020 season.

However, Ecclestone sees Verstappen as the option Ferrari would go for if they were able to pick between Verstappen and the Red Bull driver.

“If Ferrari had a choice of Lewis or Max Verstappen I think they would go for Max, for the same reason they like Charles [Leclerc],” Ecclestone told the Daily Mail.

“With Sebastian Vettel or Lewis they will only get a couple of years but with the younger two they might get 10 years.

“I’m not sure Max isn’t the best guy at the moment, including Lewis.”

Verstappen, 22, actually edged out Hamilton last weekend as he secured glory in the penultimate race of the 2019 season in Brazil.

It was an altogether different story for Ferrari, whose hopes of points were destroyed when Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc collided late on.

The incident was the latest episode in a story which has seen the two Ferrari drivers’ relationship deteriorate over the course of the year.

Ecclestone reckons Vettel could just as easily quit F1 as sign an extension, with his contract due to expire in 12 months’ time.

That would open the door for Ferrari chiefs to recruit Verstappen or Hamilton to race alongside hot prospect Charles Leclerc.

“I wouldn’t bet on it,” Ecclestone said, when asked about Vettel’s future at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“He might stay, he might move to another team or just retire. It could as likely be any of those.”

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