Lewis Hamilton’s shock move to Ferrari has been hailed as a major coup for Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes looks at a photo of the Mercedes GP team during previews ahead of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 23, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Clive Rose | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
This will put an end to a 12-year bilateral relationship between the Mercedes and Hamilton drivers, a relationship that team principal Toto Wolff described as “the most successful the sport has ever seen.”
Now a global icon, Hamilton first signed for Mercedes in 2013 and went on to win six of his seven world titles with the team between 2014 and 2020.
However, the extraordinary run of success has since dried up, and Hamilton has not won a race since the Saudi Grand Prix in December 2021.
“Mercedes has been a part of my life since I was 13 years old. It’s where I grew up, so making the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Hamilton said in a statement. “But the time is right for me to take this step and I am excited to take on a new challenge.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari issued a short statement saying The team was “delighted” to announce that Hamilton had joined on a multi-year contract.
The news sent shock waves through Formula 1, with 2009 world champion Jenson Button saying he was also surprised.
“This is massive for the sport,” Button told Sky Sports F1 on Thursday. Button competed in the same McLaren team as Hamilton from 2010 to 2012.
“For Ferrari to have this turnaround is huge. I think it’s great for the sport. Everyone will have their eyes on Formula 1, especially Ferrari and Lewis,” he added.
When asked why Hamilton decided to move for the 2025 season, Button replied: “Obviously 12 years at Mercedes is longer than most people spend in Formula 1. Spending it with one team and achieving what they have, he probably wanted that too.” Something different to spice it up.”
“It’s a big deal and I can’t wait to see how he goes at Ferrari,” Button said.
The possibility of Hamilton joining Ferrari has long been the subject of intense speculation, although Hamilton has previously said that he intends to stay with Mercedes for the rest of his life.
“Clearly something has changed, as either he doesn’t like what he sees at Mercedes or he just wants a new challenge (in) this final stage of his Grand Prix career and he has made the jump,” Martin Brundle, former Formula One driver and commentator , He told Sky News Thursday.
“I think the temptation was too big for him – which is great for Formula 1 and which is great for us.”
Brundle said one of the reasons behind Hamilton’s decision to make the switch could be that the rules will be revamped soon, with new regulations in 2026 set to increase the electrical performance of Formula 1 engines.
The scheduled reset is the first major rule change since 2014.
Carlos Sainz of Spain and third-placed Ferrari celebrate on the podium during the F1 Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 03, 2023 in Monza, Italy.
Dan Stetten – Formula 1 | Formula 1 | Getty Images
“Remember, a lot of us were surprised when Lewis left McLaren to go to Mercedes-Benz, but they through (then team boss) Ross Brawn and others made it clear to Lewis that, ‘Look, when this reset comes in 2014, we think we’re going to be there,’” Brundle said. the match”.
He continued: “If Ferrari says, ‘We think we will outperform the 2026 list’… it is a retcon in this regard since Lewis left McLaren.” “It was difficult for Mercedes at first, but then of course they turned into absolutely dominant winning machines.”
Oscar Pisatri, the Australian race driver who races for McLaren, seemed to sum up the sentiment of the other drivers on the grid after Thursday’s announcement.
In a post on the social networking site X, Pisatri He said: “I was just running. Did I miss anything?”
The next Formula 1 season begins in Bahrain on February 29.
(Tags for translation)Motor Racing