Lewis Hamilton must be “subordinate” if he is to make a success of his move to Ferrari for the F1 2025 season.
That is the view of former F1 driver Hans Joachim-Stuck, who believes life at Maranello will be “a completely new experience” for the seven-time World Champion.
Despite signing a new two-year contract extension last August, Hamilton announced earlier this month that he will leave Mercedes at the end of 2024 to join Ferrari on a multi-year deal.
Will Lewis Hamilton sink or swim at Ferrari?
The move will bring an end to Hamilton’s long and highly successful relationship with Mercedes, whose engines have powered every single one of his 332 Grand Prix starts to date.
With drivers of the calibre of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel falling short in their mission to bring glory back to the Scuderia, Stuck is fascinated to see whether Hamilton sinks or swims in the unique, high-pressure atmosphere at Ferrari.
He told Eurosport: “Hamilton is a special personality.
“But whether he can cope with the Ferrari system, where everything works a little differently, is something I’m curious to see.
“Of course, Hamilton will have had this step rewarded with his salary, and he deserves it. But he now has to subordinate himself. He is certainly not used to that.”
Put to him that drivers who race for Ferrari often achieve legendary status, Stuck quipped: “And even more so than if you became World Champion seven times somewhere else.
“But the Scuderia works differently to Red Bull or Mercedes. You’re not the big personality there that you can live out like in other racing teams.
“Hamilton has to be subordinate. Ferrari is Italy. The press is completely different, they pick on every little thing, there are no secrets. It will be a completely new experience for Hamilton.”
Despite turning 40 next January, Hamilton will arrive at Ferrari aiming to win a record-breaking eighth World Championship having infamously been denied the honour in highly controversial circumstances at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
With Red Bull star Max Verstappen winning 44 of the last 66 races stretching back to the start of 2021, Stuck fears Hamilton faces a “difficult” challenge to add to his title tally at Ferrari.
He said: “Of course, Hamilton is on a particularly high level because he could beat Michael Schumacher’s record with a title with Ferrari.
“That would be awesome. Records are there to be broken. If he wins his eighth title there, that would be a great story.
“But it’s a long way until then – and above all a difficult one.”
Hamilton remains without a victory since the penultimate round of the 2021 campaign in Saudi Arabia.