In recent days, rumors of a possible arrival of the 7-time world champion in Maranello have resurfaced, but this time the clues seem more credible than on other occasions. And President Elkann has never hidden his admiration for Lewis…
It has happened before, but this time there’s something different, a scenario where several pieces seem to fit perfectly into a mosaic as shocking as unexpected. In the past, Lewis Hamilton’s name has been linked to Ferrari on at least three other occasions, always coinciding with ongoing contract negotiations between the seven-time world champion and Mercedes. It’s possible, and probable, that Hamilton used the potential ‘red’ alternative to send messages to those sitting on the other side of the table because there has never been anything concrete. A dinner with President John Elkann and little more.
In recent days, rumors have surfaced again: Lewis might be on his way to Maranello. Whispers of rumors, as always, but in this case, they seem more credible due to a different scenario. Is it really possible for Hamilton to join Ferrari in 2025? The questions are many, but when analyzed one by one, they seem to find an answer.
Ferrari has a vacant seat, as currently only Charles Leclerc has a contract for the 2025 Formula 1 season, but (and here is the novelty) for the first time, Hamilton is not negotiating any renewal. In fact, Lewis has just signed a fresh deal, sealed last August 31 for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. Officially, Hamilton seems off the market, but a two-year contract can actually be what is called a ‘1+1’, with exit clauses at the end of the first season, in this specific case, at the conclusion of the 2024 season. It’s not far-fetched to assume that Lewis has secured the option to conclude the agreement at the end of this year, considering there have been moments when even a definitive retirement from Formula 1 seemed like an option.
Other different aspects compared to previous ‘contacts’ between Lewis and Ferrari are related to the technical scenario and Hamilton’s prospects. In the past, Lewis would never have dreamed of leaving a dominant Mercedes, a project in which he played a crucial role and which guaranteed him six of his seven world titles.
Today, little of that dominance remains, and James Allison’s return to the technical leadership of the team is the last attempt to keep a cycle alive that, according to many insiders, seems to be coming to an end. Hamilton is well aware that if there is no decisive improvement on the performance front in 2024, the team could undergo a significant reset, with the consequent time needed to start over. Leaving Mercedes for Ferrari today is no longer a risky bet but a move into a technical scenario that, on paper, offers some more certainty.
There is also the age aspect. Lewis Hamilton has just turned 39, and he knows that time is running out to fulfill the last dream. If he really wants to wear the red suit, it’s the last call, and if he accepts, it will be a legendary ‘Last Dance,’ regardless of what the track will say later. Lewis has had everything he could have desired from his career, and if he is still in Formula 1 today, the only real motivation is the hunger for emotions, and in the midst of a period where the only team capable of guaranteeing a run for the championship is Red Bull, the only adrenaline rush that can attract a seven-time world champion is going to the most iconic place par excellence.
If the most surprising market move of the last decade really takes shape, it will also be at the will of President John Elkann, who has never hidden great admiration for Hamilton. Bringing Lewis to Maranello is, of course, no guarantee of success, but it would restore Ferrari to an appeal (in terms of driver/technical market) that in recent seasons has not seemed to be the same as in the past.
Another clue that fits into this scenario is the situation Carlos Sainz finds himself in today. As reported earlier this week, Carlos has long expressed the desire to know his future before the start of the championship, a wish not currently satisfied by the Scuderia’s top management. A silence, more evident after the announcement of Charles Leclerc’s confirmation, that has given rise to various hypotheses. More complex negotiations? Requests not in line with the team’s plans? A third possibility is added, namely that Ferrari may be considering a future without Carlos Sainz.