Felipe Massa says while Lewis Hamilton won’t have a long career with Ferrari, “three years” maximum but maybe only “one”, his time with the Maranello team will be “very cool, interesting”.
This year’s championship will be Hamilton’s last as a Mercedes driver with the Briton dominating the news cycle having signed with Ferrari.
While it has long been suggested Hamilton could finish his Formula 1 career racing in red, his decision last year to sign a two-year contract with Mercedes seemed to put paid to that.
Could Lewis Hamilton only spend one season on the grid with Ferrari?
However, having activated a release clause in his Mercedes contract even before the start of year one of his extension, the seven-time World Champion was subsequently confirmed as a 2025 Ferrari driver, replacing Carlos Sainz.
Ferrari did not confirm the duration of the Briton’s contract other than to call it a “multi-year” deal.
But at 39, 40 when he joins Ferrari in January, Massa doubts Hamilton will be racing in red for very long. He’s even suggested it could only be a year.
“I always thought that, at some point, he would come to Ferrari and try to end his career here. And that will now actually happen,” the Brazilian told Motorsport.com.
“He starts there, if I’m not wrong, when he is about forty years old. And it will certainly be his last stint in Formula 1.
“One year, two years, three years… Depending on how long he wants to continue, and what the results are.”
The Brazilian famously lost the 2008 F1 Drivers’ Championship to Hamilton, an outcome that Massa is taking to court as he believes it was “manipulated” through Renault deliberately ordering Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash at that year’s Singapore Grand Prix.
But while Massa wants that World title attributed to himself, it’s clear he doesn’t have any ill feelings towards Hamilton.
In fact, he reckons the Briton could be just what Ferrari need as they seek to end their title drought having last won a World title in 2007.
“Man, this is cool!” he added. “It is interesting what this will mean for the entire motorsport world.
“He is not only a racing driver, but also a media icon in many ways. It’s very cool, interesting. I’m happy.
“We know what a talent he is, how well he can drive a car. And he brings something to Ferrari, which is always positive.
“I am a Ferrari fan through and through, I always want the best people at Ferrari. It will be really cool.”