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Hamilton’s Move: A Risk Without a Competitive Ferrari?

02/02/2024

In a stunning turn, Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes for Ferrari in 2025, sparking widespread debate among F1 insiders.

Many of Formula 1 paddock’s most notable observers are already pondering Lewis Hamilton’s shocking decision to forgo his contract with Mercedes for 2025 to move to Ferrari.

“I’m very surprised,” said former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, “but he must have his reasons.”

“The only thing I can say is that I wish the best for Ferrari and Lewis. But I’m surprised because Mercedes has done a lot for him.”

“Do I agree with the choice? I don’t know. First of all, he needs a good car, because you can have Batman driving, but if it’s not competitive, the driver won’t make a difference.”

Another Italian, former F1 driver Jarno Trulli, shares this view, stating that even a seven-time world champion “doesn’t guarantee you a win.”

“For me, honestly, it looks better for Hamilton than for Ferrari. He will remain in the history of Mercedes, while fulfilling a dream at the age of 40.”

“He will drive a Ferrari knowing that everything he had to win in his career is already won. Maranello, however, has other dreams: winning new titles.”

Some compare Lewis Hamilton‘s decision to what the great Michael Schumacher did at the end of the 1995 season by leaving Benetton for Scuderia. Schumacher’s brother, Ralf, commented: “I think it could be the right decision for Lewis.”

“There are many drivers who would like to drive a Ferrari before ending their career, and he is one of them.”

“I think Vasseur was a key factor in Lewis’s decision. Vasseur has already done a great job in changing the team and can now take that work to another level.”

“I haven’t spoken to Lewis obviously but I don’t think he did it because Michael did it. I just think it’s something he wants to do, for all that Ferrari represents in the history of F1 and, of course, he’s looking to win his eighth world championship.”

Former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos agrees: “Ferrari could easily take advantage with the new regulations in 2026. It’s a gamble, yes, but any driver – world champion or not – dreams of wearing that iconic red suit and trying to win in a red F1.”

“Don’t forget that Ferrari hasn’t been champion since Kimi Raikkonen. Big names like Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have tried but failed. Can Lewis break the pattern?”

Another former F1 driver, Christijan Albers, has no criticism of Hamilton’s decision.

“It’s the right time for him to do something different. Mercedes’ domination over the hybrid era is over. They are stagnating. So as a driver, it’s good to look to the future.”

“I’ve heard many people say that Leclerc and Hamilton’s driving styles are so different, but that’s not a problem. They are both guys who know how to personalize a car.”

“Hamilton’s arrival also means a huge boost for Ferrari in terms of self-confidence and commitment. It’s huge for Ferrari.”

As for what Carlos Sainz will do next, Trulli believes the 29-year-old Spaniard will know how to move on without criticizing his current team for its decision.

“He knows very well that’s the dynamics of Formula 1. Ferrari took the opportunity and recruited a seven-time world champion. What are you going to say in public? Sainz knows very well what Hamilton represents. Attacking it is risking receiving criticism in return. Sainz is still young. He will certainly find a good alternative.”

Sainz seems very close to joining the Audi F1 project, while others believe an interesting solution for Mercedes would be to place the Spaniard alongside George Russell for 2025.

“I don’t think Sainz fits Mercedes, despite him winning a race last season,” concludes Christijan Albers.

Alexander Albon? To be honest, I think he’s a bit overrated. Just look at who he has beside him at Williams (Logan Sargeant).”

Hamilton’s Move: A Risk Without a Competitive Ferrari?. Hamilton’s Move: A Risk Without a Competitive Ferrari?

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