Jacques Villeneuve reveals Lewis Hamilton’s dwindling confidence in Mercedes F1, signaling a profound shift in the racer’s career trajectory and team dynamics.
Jacques Villeneuve believes Lewis Hamilton made the right move in leaving Mercedes F1, especially as the seven-time world champion seems to have lost faith in his team. And according to the 1997 world champion, this decision will inevitably be positive for the Briton.
“Inside Mercedes, there’s something wrong. Lewis no longer believes in the engineers, no longer believes in Toto,” Villeneuve told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “While the team, after all the space and freedom it gave him, did not expect such a goodbye.”
“It’s Mercedes that crafted Hamilton’s image. They thought he would stay for life, even as an ambassador. The feeling is that Mercedes is missing something, and I don’t think it will recover in two years.”
“Lewis is therefore right to go to Ferrari, where if he wins, it will be fantastic, the best possible outcome, especially at a time in history when the team hasn’t won for so long. It would have been different, for example, to go right after Schumacher.”
“And if he doesn’t win, it will still be a matter of image. Better to not win with Ferrari than to not win with Mercedes. If we see the Lewis of old, he will be formidable, especially since he has nothing to lose. And finishing in style with Ferrari is the best thing in the world.”
“An excellent decision” for F1
He thinks, however, it could be challenging for Hamilton: “Ferrari is another world in which it’s not easy to survive. We will now see how strong he is psychologically. Ferrari wears down its drivers. Even someone like Alonso got worn out. The only one who wasn’t is Schumacher.”
Villeneuve doesn’t think this end-of-career change will be a disappointment like Schumacher’s return in 2010: “No. Michael came back after stopping because he was bored. Lewis is fit and still hungry. He wants revenge for the 2021 world championship which, from his viewpoint, was stolen from him.”
The Canadian is very enthusiastic about seeing Hamilton race for the Scuderia: “It’s good news for all of us. It’s unexpected, indeed, and exciting. It gets people talking.”
“You can’t imagine anything better: the greatest team of all time with the most titled driver. For Ferrari, it’s an incredible image operation, in a positive sense. And from Hamilton, it’s an excellent decision.”
Villeneuve Hamilton Mercedes w15 F1 2024. Villeneuve Hamilton Mercedes w15 F1 2024
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