Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle and Jenson Button give their views on Lewis Hamilton’s dreaded move to Ferrari for 2025 and what it means for F1; Hamilton will replace Carlos Sainz next year on a multi-year deal to become Charles Leclerc’s new teammate.
23:54, UK, Thursday 01 February 2024
Martin Brundle believes Lewis Hamilton’s surprise move to Ferrari for the 2025 F1 season could be “Schumacher-esque”.
Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of next season to replace Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, F1’s most famous and iconic team, in an unexpected move that is as surprising as it is shocking.
The seven-time world champion, who is statistically the most successful driver in F1 history with 103 wins and 104 places, will be partnered by Charles Leclerc.
“We’ve talked to him about this for years, interviews [along the lines of] ‘wouldn’t you like to make Michael Schumacher and join Ferrari to become champions?’,” said Brundle. Sky Sports news.
“He always says ‘I’ve been with Mercedes, even when I was at McLaren I had Mercedes engines, it’s my team and the manufacturers all my life’.
“What a story – Lewis Hamilton in a Ferrari.”
Brundle: Never write Hamilton | Movement can give him strength
Hamilton made his F1 debut with McLaren in 2007, winning his first world title in just his second campaign. He joined Mercedes in 2013 and went on to win six races with the team, the most successful team in the history of the sport.
The 39-year-old has not won a race for more than two years, starting at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in December 2021.
Ferrari though has only won one driver’s title, with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, since the end of Michael Schumacher’s reign when he won five races in a row at the beginning of this century.
Schumacher, who joined Ferrari from Benetton in 1996, became their first champion for 21 years.
“Don’t write off Lewis Hamilton,” said Brundle.
“He knows how to win races and races, and it will be Schumacher-esque if he can go there and drive the team to start winning more races and become contenders.”
Brundle is also excited about the prospect of Hamilton teaming up with Leclerc.
“Leclerc, I think, is on a par to be the fastest driver at the moment – including Max Verstappen,” Brundle said.
“He runs blindly, but he tends to do a few things he shouldn’t because he drives close to the limit – but it’s a fantastic combination.
“Let’s not ignore the fact that the great driver Sainz is also, who is in Ferrari next season, and maybe he has the opportunity to go to Mercedes or other teams in the series.”
Although unexpected, Brundle thinks the announcement will boost Mercedes and Ferrari, as well as Hamilton.
“He’s had a couple of years without winning a race and we’ve seen some changes he’s made, bringing back Marc Hynes, who was his long-time mentor and eyes and ears in the paddock,” continued Brundle.
“I think he might have gone ‘I’m going to stop focusing on all things outside the race and go back to Lewis Hamilton driving’.
“I think this is a great opportunity to encourage and empower him in this part of his career.”
Button: This is more for the game
Leclerc has been at Ferrari since 2019 and Hamilton will be his third teammate at the Scuderia, having teamed up with Sebastian Vettel for two seasons and Sainz from 2021.
Jenson Button spent three years as Hamilton’s teammate at McLaren and was shocked by the news on Thursday.
“This is a lot for the sport. If Lewis had stayed at Mercedes, he would have won races, it would have been good, but to go to Ferrari is good,” said Button. Sky Sports F1.
“It will be great for the sport, everyone will be looking at Formula 1, especially Ferrari and Lewis.
“Also, the way he performs against Charles Leclerc, who is under contract, I think he will be next to Ferrari’s Lewis.
“It’s very difficult to make a change in your career after being with one team for a long time. To suddenly jump to another team, it’s difficult. To play well for Lewis, it’s difficult.”
It is not difficult for a driver to announce a change of team the following year, before the new season.
Fernando Alonso’s move to McLaren for 2007 was announced in December 2005 after winning his first world title with Renault.
The Spaniard won a second championship with Renault in 2006, despite knowing he was leaving the team.
Reflecting on Hamilton’s departure, Button explained: “I think 12 years at Mercedes is longer than most people spend in Formula 1. So, to spend it with one team and achieve what they have, maybe they wanted something different. ‘no.
“We all get to the point where our career is where we live, I’ve done what I wanted to achieve and decided to retire. He’s gone in a different direction and you know what, I feel like I need to change, I’m going to Ferrari.
“It’s very difficult and I can’t wait to see how he does it at Ferrari. The strange thing is, this is a previous call, so I can say this soon.
“It’s a year before he joins Ferrari, so how will the situation be at Mercedes? It’s not easy. Why is he stopping Lewis? He knows the ins and outs of the team and when it gets difficult, are there other things he can hide from Lewis? Maybe.”
24 races in 2024! Watch every line-up of next season on Sky Sports F1, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Watch every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership
Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!
Now you can start receiving messages and notifications about the latest sports news, analysis, in-depth and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!
Find out more here…