Lewis Hamilton warned over unique Ferrari driver expectation by former team-mate

Jamie Woodhouse
A close-up shot of Lewis Hamilton with a prominent Ferrari logo alongside him

Will Lewis Hamilton be a success at Ferrari?

Jenson Button is keen to see how his ex-McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton adapts to racing for a Ferrari team where they are the title focus, not the driver.

Hamilton ensured an early and dramatic start to the latest F1 ‘silly season’ by announcing before the 2024 campaign even began that he would be a Ferrari driver as of next season, activating a release clause in his Mercedes contract to make that dream move happen.

Lewis Hamilton warned of ‘different way of racing’ at Ferrari

Seven-time World Champion Hamilton will head to Maranello to partner Charles Leclerc and chase a record-breaking eighth World Championship, though Button warns that this will be a title pursuit unlike any other which Hamilton has experienced.

While Button feels it can be generally regarded that a driver puts their interests first in any other team, he stressed that is not the case at Ferrari, so he is intrigued to see how Hamilton handles an environment where “it’s all about Ferrari winning the World Championships”.

Asked on the Sky F1 podcast how he sees the Hamilton and Leclerc pairing working out, Button replied: “I think if it was Lewis of sort of seven, eight years ago, it will be a tricky relationship.

“But now, he just seems so relaxed in himself and no, I don’t think they’re going to have issues as being team-mates at all. No more than Carlos [Sainz] and Charles have right now.

“Do I think they’ll work well together? Yes. I think the positives that Charles has, he knows the team, speaks Italian. If he wanted to, he could make it really really difficult for Lewis and that team, the atmosphere.

“And you can say, ‘Well, that’s not sportsmanlike’, but that’s part of racing and Nico Rosberg will tell you that as well. It’s about getting the team of people behind you, so that gives you strength and it takes away strength from your team-mate.

“But, Lewis has been around long enough to understand the situation and I’m really, really looking forward to that fight between team-mates.

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“Obviously, they’re working together, they’re Ferrari. It’s all about Ferrari. That’s the one thing with Ferrari.

“In every other team, you can kind of say, ‘Yeah, the driver is out for himself’. And the team obviously. But in Ferrari, everyone works for Ferrari. It’s all about Ferrari winning the world championships.

“It’s a different way of racing, definitely, for someone like Lewis, who is such a star in this sport. Suddenly, he’s kind of working for Ferrari to win the championship.

“So I look forward to seeing the dynamic there and that’s going to be very exciting next year.”

Before then though, Hamilton has his final season with Mercedes to navigate, which so far is proving a challenging task, with a P6 finish his best result to show for the year so far.

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