Jenson Button spots key change in Lewis Hamilton ahead of Ferrari F1 2025 move

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton speaks to the media at Suzuka with a prominent Ferrari logo alongside him

What can Lewis Hamilton achieve when he swaps Ferrari for Mercedes in 2025?

Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion, has claimed Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t have had the confidence to take on a new challenge at Ferrari during their spell as McLaren F1 team-mates.

Hamilton rocked the F1 world in February by announcing that he will end his long and successful association with Mercedes at the end of F1 2024 to join Ferrari on a multi-year contract.

Jenson Button weighs in on Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari F1 2025 move

The seven-time World Champion’s decision came just five months after Hamilton signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes until the end of 2025.

Hamilton will be on the brink of his 40th birthday when he arrives at Ferrari in 2025, when he will race alongside Charles Leclerc, widely regarded as the fastest driver over a single lap in modern F1.

Button famously outscored Hamilton over the course of their three seasons together at McLaren between 2010 and 2012 before the latter joined Mercedes as Michael Schumacher’s replacement at the beginning of the 2013 campaign.

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Appearing on the Sky F1 podcast, Button revealed he admires Hamilton’s confidence in joining Ferrari – and taking on a driver of Leclerc’s calibre – at this advanced stage of his career.

He said: “I think this is a great time in motorsport.

“We’ll never be 100 per cent happy, we never are. We want more action, more excitement, more controversy. I think the exciting thing right now is we do have drivers moving around.

“It’s great to see Lewis jumping from Mercedes, who have given him all these World Championships, to drive for Ferrari.

“That was unexpected. That’s the one that was unexpected.

“Max [Verstappen] moving? There’s a question mark possibly,.

“But Lewis Hamilton moving to Ferrari? I know it’s old news now, but that’s something that we’ll talk about forever.

“This guy that was given the opportunities, has won so many World Championships, and took it.

“He’s one of the best drivers I’ve ever seen drive a racing car. I’ve seen it first-hand, we were team-mates for three years.

“To have that confidence in himself to move to Ferrari and go up against someone like Charles, I would say: ‘Bravo, Lewis.’

“I think, when we were team-mates, he didn’t have that confidence.

“But now he does and he’s a really rounded driver and confident that he can go and have another challenge.

“That’s what we need as well as drivers. You’re not going to stick around as long as Fernando [Alonso] if you don’t have new challenges and I think someone like Lewis needed that new challenge and he’s got it.”

Button’s comments come after former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone described Hamilton’s Ferrari switch as a “strange move to make” and claimed he would not have signed the “selfish” veteran.

He told RacingNews365: “Too much of a handful – an unnecessary handful. He really sort of commands a little at Mercedes.

“Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] has let him be like that, to keep him on board and keep him happy.

“It was a strange, strange move to make.

“Toto has relied on him an awful lot more and they’ve become close for selfish reasons – both of them.

“I don’t think there was ever a sort of a relationship where you could rely on both parties. There obviously wasn’t because that’s why he suddenly decided to leave.

“Big surprise in as far as I didn’t understand why he did it, given the year’s notice basically.

“Why didn’t he wait [to announce it] until later on during the season?

“People thought [Ferrari had] done a clever deal in taking him, but I think it’s a bit of an ego thing that he got latched into it all.”

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