Sport Writer Hajra Hussain discusses the shock of Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari for the next F1 season
I, like most formula one fans, follow quite a few F1 meme pages. Such pages are filled to the brim with edits and memes of racers and principles taken out of context, but a common post that kept cropping up was “breaking news” of Hamilton joining Ferrari in 2025. One would be reasonable in assuming that it was a joke. And yet, the abundance of posts couldn’t be ignored, so I succumbed to clickbait. Plain as day, Hamilton is transferring to Ferrari in 2025.
The question on everyone’s mind is: why now? It is common knowledge that Hamilton wants another world title – his 8th – and it is no secret that Hamilton was unhappy with the Mercedes W14 development in 2023. LeClerc has signed an extension with Ferrari, and Sainz’s contract expires in 2024, (rumours are circulating that when Audi make an appearance on the grid in 2026, Sainz is the top choice), so the thought is that if Hamilton and Ferrari were to make a move, it would be best to do it now.
The majority of formula one fans felt as if Hamilton would retire with Mercedes. He expressed his happiness with the team merely a few months ago and he has won 6 world championships with the team, but the last time Hamilton won a race was in 2021 and things are looking bleak – if trend is any indicator, the German team isn’t showing much promise for next year.
Last year Hamilton gained 3rd place in the drivers’ championship, a very respectable position as 20 out of 21 races were won by a single constructor’s team, it highlights that Hamilton is still in fighting shape, all he needs is better machinery to take it to RedBull in the seasons to come.
The only other team to win a race in 2023 was Ferrari, and since the dawn of the RedBull age, we have seen Mercedes struggle, making blunder and tactical errors galore. Arguably a key reason for this is that they have not had to fight in the pack for a very long time. Mercedes seems to act as if they are still fighting with that rocket of the W11, and not the W14
The pairing is also quite interesting, LeClerc is the favourite in Ferrari (however much they try to deny it), but this decision looks like Ferrari are leaning towards not having a number one. Adding Hamilton to the line-up will cause a storm, a 7-time world champion is not likely to lay down and roll over and LeClerc won’t let his Ferrari world title dreams be snatched away, so this could make for some very exciting racing.
This change could shake things up within Ferrari themselves, we know that Hamilton isn’t afraid to make his voice heard and was intimately aware of the developments of his previous cars during his Mercedes days, he could be the key to quickening those painstakingly slow pit-stops and force the improvement of Ferrari strategy.
Another question that is cropping up is who will replace the 7-time world champion. Various names have been thrown around such as Alex Albon, formula 2 driver Kimi Antonelli and some looks have even been thrown in Fernando Alonso’s direction. Whoever the choice is, Mercedes needs to ensure that they will be a commercial success, a departure of Hamilton’s calibre will mean that the team will be hit hard on multiple fronts.
Ultimately this is an iconic move for both Hamilton and Ferrari, a driver who is arguably the greatest of his generation and a team with so much F1 prestige, but for now all we can do is marvel at poorly photoshopped images of Hamilton in Ferrari red.
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