February 1st


A market-driver bombshell was dropped yesterday, a phase typically marked by the unveiling of the new 2024 single-seaters followed by tests. After initial rumors, the directly involved parties have also confirmed the news, and it’s all true: Hamilton and Ferrari have said ‘yes’ from the 2025 season, with the Englishman taking Carlos Sainz’s place in the Scuderia.

At first, it was a rumor, not so much given the news reported by Daniele Sparisci and Giorgio Terruzzi on the pages of Corriere della Sera. Then, the buzz on major Spanish (interested in Sainz’s fate) and English websites confirmed it. Even the largest English telecommunications company followed suit. A series of parallel lines, but in the end, it’s all true: Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari have said ‘yes.’

Everything is happening in this Formula 1 season, still with traffic lights off for the upcoming season; the focus is already on 2025. Ferrari, evidently marked in pride, has convinced the seven-time world champion to join the dream team project with the newly renewed Leclerc.

This decision is backed by Ferrari’s actions from the previous year, giving carte blanche to Fred Vasseur, who took over at an unfavorable time when the disconnection between departments seemed evident. It may have been an internal power struggle, resulting in a poor-performing car, especially at the beginning. However, subsequent updates mitigated the situation. By securing Leclerc, Ferrari has shown commitment, despite past mistreatment through wrong strategies and counterproductive choices.

Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari, a team with which he will be associated until he turns 40, may stem from dissatisfaction with the projections for the new Mercedes. Perhaps the allure of a new challenge with Ferrari, currently trailing behind the dominant Red Bull, became more appealing. Despite his significant history with Mercedes, leaving (presumably) an ambassadorial role with the brand is a bold move.

Believing, trying, and realizing an unfulfilled dream emphasize how the Ferrari brand remains paramount, even though it hasn’t won a Constructors’ title since 2008. Passion may have prevailed in this decision, leaving a comfort zone to undertake a challenging task. This aligns with the desire of any driver – wearing the red suit, following the path that another driver, unfortunately halted by the tragedy at Imola in 1994, might have dreamed of.

Behind this decision, there might be a technical factor. Departures of key figures, such as the former Head of Vehicle Performance Loic Serra, who moved to Ferrari, could signal a new season of appeal for those often working behind corporate desks. This move could be an opportunity for these figures to follow suit without the pressure that inevitably comes with transferring solutions and intellectual material from one team to another.

Hamilton’s disappointments, notably expressed in 2022 about car issues, now have more clarity. Comparisons have been drawn between Hamilton’s move to Ferrari and Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus.

For Mercedes, this marks a significant problem as it will be without a titled driver after many years. Finding a suitable replacement for Hamilton, considering George Russell’s promising but unproven capabilities, becomes a challenge. The second seat is another puzzle; young Italian Antonelli’s potential promotion raises questions, or Mercedes might opt for a proven option like Fernando Alonso if Stroll’s performance in Aston Martin doesn’t improve.

Moving on to Ferrari, the idea of bringing Hamilton onboard is not an overnight decision. This partly justifies the delay in extending Sainz’s contract, as he has been linked to Audi, set to enter F1 in 2026. Sainz’s situation, guiding a 2024 car practically separately, could be a concern, potentially accelerating his departure. This could trigger a domino effect, involving Albon and Stroll.

The crucial question remains: If Sainz was never Leclerc’s second, how could Hamilton be? In retrospect, the careful observation of a graphic partnership between Ferrari and an Italian beer brand, featuring a red car with the number 44, foreshadowed this development.

On February 1, the day of the groundbreaking news, Formula 1 enthusiasts were captivated by the emotional impact of the most significant recent history, officially confirmed with statements from the involved parties. Mercedes announced that it will part ways with Hamilton at the end of the 2024 season. Toto Wolff, the team principal, expressed pride in their successful partnership, acknowledging that the time had come for a natural conclusion.

Hamilton, in turn, expressed gratitude for his 11 incredible years with Mercedes. He mentioned the difficulty of leaving but highlighted the excitement of facing a new challenge. Sainz, set to complete his last season with Ferrari, confirmed their separation at the end of 2024 and emphasized his commitment to giving his all for the team and fans.

Vasseur, having a deep understanding of both Hamilton and Sainz, adds a crucial detail that we have not overlooked in these extensive lines – a competitive car. The Ferrari 2024 car presentation, already looking ahead to the next season, signifies a new chapter with the hope of returning to victory, represented by the red and black hues that will likely remain in the livery, embodying the devil’s desire to win again.”

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Andrea La Rosa

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Andrea La Rosa

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