Ex-F1 chief highlights crucial factor behind Lewis Hamilton Ferrari move

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton with Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur.

Lewis Hamilton will link up with his former ART team boss in Fred Vasseur at Ferrari in 2025.

Former Jordan technical director Gary Anderson believes Fred Vasseur will have been a crucial factor behind Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari.

Hamilton and Vasseur first worked together during their Formula 3 Euroseries days, but it was with the ART Grand Prix team in GP2 where Vasseur oversaw Hamilton’s 2006 title win.

From there, Hamilton and Vasseur parted ways but they will reunite in Maranello next season.

Fred Vasseur influence highlighted in lewis Hamilton Ferrari move

That dynamic has been described as key to Hamilton’s decision by Anderson who said the seven-time World Champion will feel “emboldened” with Vasseur in his corner.

“Frédéric Vasseur, Ferrari’s team principal, has been a significant draw for Lewis Hamilton,” Anderson wrote for the Telegraph. “They have a past together and although the big-money deal announced on Thursday will have been done with John Elkann, the overall head at Ferrari, having Fred there and his backing will have been important.

“Undoubtedly, Elkann will have confirmed to Lewis that he is content with the direction that Fred is taking the team – that will be a big thing.

“Whenever you look closely at any decision like this, trust is always such a major component. You trust the people that you know. You trust the people that you’ve been involved with from the past, that have brought your success or have always been there, if you needed to have a chat with somebody.

“Obviously, Fred is one of those guys for Lewis. It was those early days, the times together in GP2 (now Formula Two) that are such a big influence for a driver and that stays with you forever. Hamilton and Vasseur’s history together makes the decision easier because the driver knows he’s going to somebody that understands him.

“Every stepping stone as a driver, there’s somebody who will influence you, but you look at the stability of those people as well. You look at their existence and see where they themselves have got to. It’s obviously one of those situations where he’s going back into the arms of somebody that treated him correctly at the right time in his life.

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“With Fred in his corner, Lewis will be emboldened. It is a bit of a risk but this is no pain, no gain for Lewis. Ferrari have probably shared a bit of where they believe they’ve got to for 2024. Lewis will obviously know a lot about Mercedes and where they believe they’ve got to for 2024. But until the cars hit the track nobody really knows.”

Speaking in a wider sense, Anderson also believed that being able to entice Hamilton shows the “allure” of Ferrari remains large.

“The move also goes to show that the allure of Ferrari – even though they’re in the doldrums a little bit – is pretty big. It’s exciting because it’s good to get a driver moving from one team to another at a similar level because you find out who they are. Seeing how it unfolds will be very interesting and I wish him all the best.

“I think the big commitment will be what they’re going to try and do as a team for 2026 because that’s when the regulations change. I think Lewis is trying to get himself in the right place at the right time to reap the benefit.”

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