Motorsport lovers were surprised by a bomb this Thursday morning (1st): Lewis Hamilton decided to leave Mercedes, a fact confirmed in the afternoon, and will be a Ferrari driver from 2025. What appeared to be a rumor from the Italian press gained more momentum throughout the day until the official announcement of Mercedes’ departure and, soon after, the confirmation of his hiring by Ferrari. A big indication that Hamilton would change teams was the call for an extraordinary meeting for Mercedes employees, in Brackley, England.
The first rumor about Hamilton’s exchange emerged on Wednesday night (31). The previous week, the Maranello team confirmed the stay of Monegasque Charles Leclerc, in a multi-year agreement that, according to the local press, is valid until 2029, but which has exit clauses linked to performance after the third year of the contract.
As for Carlos Sainz, a Spaniard who sits in Ferrari’s second single-seater, the information, in December 2023, was that the driver wanted a two-year contract, but the team would not be willing to accept the terms as they wanted to evaluate the market. . Sainz, in fact, is one of those considered to defend Audi, but the German team’s entry will only happen in the 2026 season. It remains to be seen whether, with Hamilton’s arrival, he will be able to get a car to race in Formula 1 for the next two seasons. .
Ferrari’s target was Hamilton. The relationship between Lewis and the Scuderia was long-standing. And the cupid who united the interested parties has a name: Frédéric Vasseur. The French engineer, boss of the Italian team, has a long-standing friendship with Hamilton. The two worked together in 2004-2005, when Lewis was still in the Formula 1 access categories, but was already a phenomenon. Fred was an advisor to the Briton, playing a role similar to that of Niki Lauda, when Lewis Hamilton arrived at Mercedes.
An obstacle that could stop Hamilton’s move to Ferrari was the contract signed with Mercedes, at least until the end of 2025. The agreement would have a performance clause with the Anglo-German team, which would release him at the end of this year. The document presupposed a ‘1 + 1’ agreement, that is, the ‘mandatory’ stay would be until the end of the 2024 season, with an option to renew until the end of 2025, which Hamilton did not exercise.
What does Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari represent?
Anyone who closely follows Formula 1 knows that racing for Ferrari is the dream of many drivers, not only because of the brand and the weight that comes with the Italian manufacturer, but because the name Ferrari is synonymous with titles and greatness in motorsport. Even with several internal issues, there is almost a desire among the drivers to work for the “Cavallino Rampante” team, and Hamilton sees in Frédéric Vasseur the confidence to exchange a long-standing and successful project with Mercedes for a new adventure.
Furthermore, it would be the first time in his career in the main category of world motorsport in which the Briton would compete with an engine other than a Mercedes Benz, after all, in his period at McLaren, the engine with which Lewis won the first of its seven world championships were with the German manufacturer.
Hamilton’s possible arrival in Maranello could also mark the return of an Englishman behind the wheel of a Ferrari. The last one was Nigel Mansell, between 1989 and 1990. ‘Il Leone’ was adored by the tifosi, but he failed to become world champion with the Italian team. In fact, if victories in GPs have been increasingly difficult for the Ferrarista team, let alone world titles. The last one was with Kimi Räikkönen in 2007.
It remains to be seen whether Hamilton’s signing comes as an incentive to improve the team’s sporting project or whether the fans will experience a new disappointment, similar to the Fernando Alonso era (2010-2014) or the Sebastian Vettel years (2015-2020) on the team. The fact is that the union has everything to work out and Lewis has the opportunity at Ferrari to relaunch his career and win his eighth world title.