The departure of Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes to Ferrari makes absolutely no sense, it could be a fiasco for everyone
today | Peter Miller
Photo: Mercedes-AMG F1 Team
Leaving aside the circus surrounding this move and the exposure that comes from it, what positive can it bring to any of the main actors? It seems problematic from the point of view of Ferrari, Hamilton, Leclerc and finally Mercedes, not to mention Carlos Sainz.
We originally didn’t want to cover this topic at all, but now that it’s official, it’s hard to ignore. To begin with, just a few quick facts for those who broke it very early yesterday: Lewis Hamilton has packed up his electric scooters at Mercedes and is leaving for Ferrari. However, it won’t happen right away, he will become a Scuderia pilot only from 2025, when he replaces Carlos Sainz. The contract is officially for “several years”, unofficially there is talk of two years with the possibility of adding one more year. We will certainly learn more about the details of the contract in time.
It’s a shocking news, a bomb, a surprise… All of this despite the repeated speculations about it during the past years, especially when Hamilton only signed a contract with Mercedes for the next two years at the end of last year. In the end, however, the contract turned out to be a 1+1 year agreement, the British rider took advantage of the option of early termination and already announced the transition to the Italians before the 2024 season. Fine, it’s a good spice to the roaster of interest in current Formula 1, but what next? What sense does this move make, at least from a sporting perspective?
We see absolutely none. And neither from Hamilton’s point of view, nor from Ferrari’s point of view.
If Hamilton left for Ferrari immediately, which his own procedure described above effectively made impossible, he would still have at least two years before a fundamental change in the technical rules of Formula 1. Mercedes has not adapted very well to the current ones, and Hamilton seems to have lost faith that this will ever happen again . However, with the experience, expertise and currently, to some extent, the unused capacities of the team with the three-pointed star in its emblem, it is quite possible that the 2026 season will once again sink under the cauldron of chances for its success. Hamilton will no longer be there and, on the contrary, is massively throwing chips into the roulette in the name of Ferrari, which has not produced a really dominant technique for almost 20 years.
On the other side is Ferrari, which certainly has no problem with the quality of its drivers. Both Leclerc and Sainz are capable of winning qualifiers and races, Leclerc is considered one of the best drivers of the current generation. The team is particularly troubled by organizational problems, from technical development to strategy during races. Being able to grasp these aspects better can make a world champion out of anyone, certainly out of Leclerc and Sainz. But even the seven-time world champion won’t help him without that.
Some draw an analogy with the move to Michael Schumacher’s arrival at the team in the 1990s, which put it back on its feet. But Schumacher was a completely different type of driver, a technically much more well-founded person who was able to fundamentally help the development, which at the time did not take place almost exclusively on computers. Hamilton does not have this reputation, he does not pay for the mover and organizer, rather he drives. In addition, Schumi brought organizational and technical aces with him (Todt, Brawn, Byrne…), Hamilton only carries those scooters and colorful cloths. That won’t be enough.
Another thing is that Hamilton is 39 years old, when he starts racing with Ferrari, he will be 40, then 41, 42… He has not lost his relevance as a driver, no doubt about that, but he is past his zenith, that is also obvious. Again – is this what Ferrari needs? And is this what Hamilton needs after forty? We don’t see a winner even when compared to Leclerc, no matter how it turns out. Either Leclerc will surpass him, then Hamilton is just throwing dirt on his previous successes, which (or their level) are already being questioned by many due to the fact that he had the best car and, with exceptions, poor competition within the team. Or will Hamilton surpass Leclerc and the scars on his reputation will be removed for a change by the prince of Monaco of the new generation.
In his case, it is a complicated situation. There was a lot of talk over the winter that Ferrari’s new contract with Sainz was stuck due to Ferrari wanting to make Leclerc number 1 while Sainz would carry water. And now Leclerc will throw one of the best drivers in history under his feet? It doesn’t even make sense. And we’re not even talking about Sainz himself, who did a good job for Ferrari, or Mercedes, who literally built their team around Hamilton. And now he’s empty-handed.
Of course, it is possible that it is mainly personal, that Hamilton simply wants to go to Ferrari, the Italians want to be better seen, Sir Lewis has been “falling down” for more than a decade in one team… So be it, but then there is one more thing – Hamilton and his progressivist behavior. Mercedes is probably the only team that was curious (or rather “learned to be curious”) about his gender, race, green and other agenda and somehow supported him in it. Italians are not like that, the fans don’t like this behavior and regularly booed Hamilton in their home races. What will Lewis H. do now? Will she stop calling for a women’s F1 team, flying a rogal and rooting? With Ferrari, the opposite is not compatible, and denying this part of his “self” again will not do his image a good service. Not even a fan of flashy fashion will fit into the team, Ferrari likes discipline and team uniforms.
We really don’t see any sense in the whole move, it seems very risky for everyone involved. It could be a decent fiasco for Ferrari, Hamilton, Leclerc and a host of others without bringing more than the proverbial few extra minutes of attention. We’ll see what time brings, but at this point we’re skeptical of future positive impacts from the perspective of any of its main players. Especially when timing this move for this very moment.
Lewis Hamilton will pack his bags at Mercedes this year and move to Ferrari. What positive sense any of the main actors see in this, we have no idea. Photo: Mercedes-AMG F1
Sources: Mercedes-AMG F1, Scuderia Ferrari
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