In the middle of his contractual conflict with Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton was invited to drive one of Ferrari’s iconic Formula 1 cars.
But there’s no need to worry about the reigning world champions, as the car in question is from 1970 – 15 years before he was even born!
These days, former F1 star Paolo Barilla is in possession of the Ferrari 312B, but when Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni raced it to victory at the 1970 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, it was made famous.
It is now owned by Barilla, the businessman turned ex-racer who drove for Minardi in the first 14 races of the 1990 season.
Yet Barilla, who is the deputy chairman of the Barilla Company, the world’s largest producer of pasta, admits that he can no longer drive the 50-year-old engine.
“Instead, since “he is a driver who can appreciate the unique characteristics of a car,” the 59-year-old would like Hamilton to take it for a ride.
“I drove it in Monte Carlo and it really touched me,” Barilla told Motorsport.com’s Italian edition.
But a car is hard to drive, so I’m not going to do it again.
It will have to be a driver who, when you’re behind the wheel of the car, will appreciate the feelings. I think such a driver is Lewis Hamilton.
“I can feel that when I hear him talking about driving, he’s a driver who can appreciate the special characteristics of a car.”
Last season, Hamilton romped home to a historic seventh F1 world championship, equalling the longstanding record of racing great Michael Schumacher.
Nevertheless, having seen his previous deal end at the turn of the year, the British sensation has yet to sign a new contract with Mercedes.
Reports say that the two sides are unable to reach an agreement on his salary.