Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari is a reality. There are stories in sports that sometimes are destined to remain only in the world of dreams, while others manage to cross into reality and take shape, fulfilling the most utopian desires of every fan: one of these is undoubtedly the arrival of the Black King at Maranello. The official announcement has come, and the thought of seeing the seven-time British champion in red sets the hearts of Ferrari fans on fire and, why not, every F1 fan.
After all, there couldn’t be a more perfect combination: the most successful driver with the most decorated team in history. Beyond the mere romantic aspect, however, there are many other facets that deserve to be explored: will the famous problem of “two roosters in one henhouse” reappear in Maranello? Will a chain reaction be triggered regarding the available seats on the grid? But above all, what prospects does Lewis’s arrival at Ferrari have? Let’s try to answer all these questions.
Ferrari, Charles Leclerc / Lewis Hamilton: an explosive line-up?
That the Ferrari team relies on Charles Leclerc in the near future to return to the top is known to everyone. The talent of the Monegasque has often brought the red car where it deserves to be, even if his flair has not always been enough to bridge the gap of the car: the competitiveness of the car and the questionable sporting management have often reduced the chances of success in certain situations. To these variables, the intriguing coexistence with the second driver in 2024, Carlos Sainz, must also be added.
The Spaniard, certainly tactically savvy and technically competent, has never hidden his desire to win by aiming for the maximum, even at the cost of prejudicing a result more in line with the team’s needs (see Silverstone ’22). While it’s true that the current Ferrari drivers get along well outside the cars, it’s equally possible that, in a hypothetical fight for the championship in the next season, an inevitable conflict of interest would arise.
In short, Charles Leclerc is certainly the favorite to bring the title back to Maranello, beyond any more or less unfavorable circumstance. For this reason, it is legitimate to wonder why entrust the second car to a seven-time world champion hungry for victories. Doesn’t the Prancing Horse risk finding itself in the same situation? Clinging only to the image and sponsorship benefits that the move can offer (an aspect not to be underestimated) seems too simplistic.
Therefore, it is necessary to dig deeper and start from a very necessary observation: Ferrari is currently not in a position to win, and, miracles aside, it will not be until the end of the current regulatory cycle. Acquiring a champion of Lewis’s caliber, with infinite experience and acute sensitivity at the wheel, can certainly help to be ready and competitive in 2026, when the imperative will be to fight for both world titles.
Assuming that Ferrari will actually be in the fight, how will the internal competition between its drivers be managed? The doubt is on the edge of the existential: will preference be given to Charles’s first world championship or Hamilton’s historic eighth? Discussing these internal matters in 2025 would be a luxury. What will certainly not be lacking is the tendency of the team led by Fred Vasseur to turn necessity into a virtue, since, in the end, the only goal is to win.
Ferrari: what to expect from Lewis Hamilton
A duo that could go down in history, just for having come true, cannot obviously justify this market operation. The arrival of Sir Lewis, in fact, aligns with Ferrari’s needs and the aspirations of the Englishman: undoubtedly, there is the intrinsic value that the team wants to secure, in order to form a staff of absolute level capable of directing work in the right direction.
If one wants to climb the slope, in practice, it is necessary to have people capable of carrying the team on their shoulders. Looking at the current grid, there is really little better than having Hamilton and Leclerc together. The Englishman is no stranger to such responsibilities: if Mercedes has racked up eight constructors’ titles, much of the credit goes to Lewis.
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A driver who has been able to shape the car to his liking, making it unbeatable. It should be mentioned that there must be a team of top-level engineers and technicians to support him. We must also not forget the feeling of revenge on the part of the British: he himself, now close to 40, knows that the opportunities to grab the eighth title are few, faint, and that a project with solid foundations is his last hope.
From this point of view, the choice made by the Prancing Horse could be a great injection of confidence (or do they know something we don’t know about 2026?). At the same time, it is understood that, like the English multi-champion considered his cycle in Mercedes concluded, deeming the move to Italy much more suitable for this “last dance” of absolute value.
Hamilton “solves” the contract headaches: with Charles Leclerc locked in with a “3+2,” the issue of Carlos Sainz had become thorny. The Spaniard was demanding security with a substantial extension that Ferrari did not want to guarantee. The Iberian will end his stint in red and will be free to move wherever he pleases. The Englishman, on the other hand, was able to free himself thanks to the clause in his favor in the contract, “1+1,” signed in 2023.
Leaving aside the mere contract issue, it is interesting to consider a very important aspect. It is indeed reasonable to expect another important market session related to the technical staff: the appeal of working with a champion like Hamilton can certainly represent a wild card for Ferrari in dealing with the prized minds of rival teams, adding more than one figure to the persuasive power that the red team will be able to assert.
A second aspect may be related to the relationship that certain figures have with Lewis, so strong and well-established that it convinces them to follow him to Ferrari. One such figure could be his race engineer Peter “Bono” Bonington. There are often winning combinations that drivers tend to want to maintain: for example, Fernando Alonso brought Andrea Stella to McLaren once his time in red was over.
Not to mention the vast know-how accumulated at Mercedes by the English driver. A huge technical baggage that will be made available to the Italian team. In addition to the technical aspects, we are talking about the working approach that the German team has shown in the recent past, optimizing results unlike Ferrari, which has often literally thrown away the potential achieved, as happened between 2017, 2018, and the first part of 2022.
Ferrari 2025: Hamilton arrives, Sainz exits. The “seat game” where will the Spaniard go? Watch the technicians’ market
The passage of Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari has undoubtedly shaken every negotiation table, starting with the Mercedes one, surprised and caught off guard by this silent departure. How will the Stuttgart team fill the void left by its champion? While it is natural that leadership be inherited by George Russell, there is absolute uncertainty about who will secure the second black arrow.
There is nothing stopping us from hypothesizing the Mercedes 2025 pair, so here are some possibilities: a candidate could certainly be Esteban Ocon, always in the orbit of the German group. A solid, consistent driver with good experience. He has 1 victory and 3 podiums to his name. Comparing him to Bottas, the Finn, before joining Brackley, had achieved 6 podiums and 0 victories.
Another contender is Pierre Gasly, perhaps more suited to a role as a supporting actor, but still capable of excellent performances, although not always consistent. He also has 1 victory and 4 podiums to his name. It should be noted that both Alpine drivers have contracts expiring at the end of the 2024 season. Others, such as Norris and Piastri, undoubtedly faster, have recently signed long-term contracts and seem out of the market.
Finally, it seems nice and romantic to nurture another dream of us Italians, namely that of Andrea Kimi Antonelli, making his debut this year in F2. The seventeen-year-old talent from the Mercedes Academy represents the most daring hypothesis, obviously, as much of his future will depend on what the boy will be able to demonstrate in his first competitive season in the “junior series.”
In turn, whoever frees up their seat will fuel other market rumors: one above all, that of Fernando Alonso. It is not known how much the Spaniard will want to stay within the Circus, but as long as the performances produced by the two-time world champion are those of last season, his presence seems indispensable. Fernando’s contract expires at the end of 2024.
And then there is Carlos Sainz, “left out” by Ferrari: there are many rumors about his possible move to Audi in 2026, although there is still doubt about what the Spaniard will do next year, excluding a sabbatical year a priori, as it has often negatively marked the careers of many drivers. He could “park” himself at Sauber waiting for another regulatory revolution, already getting acquainted with the team acquired by the German giant.
In short, a real earthquake has shaken F1 a few days ago, and it could only be so, given the specific weight that entities like Lewis Hamilton and Scuderia Ferrari can “make count” within the sport. We just have to wait for 2025 to see this dream team in action, not forgetting that the 2024 F1 championship is now approaching, with the presentations of the various cars and the first pre-season tests in Bahrain.
Source: Andrea Mauri and Alessandro Arcari for FUnoanalisitecnica