Lewis Hamilton warned ahead of ‘box office’ move despite teaming up with ‘born racer’

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton on the podium at Monza in 2019.

Lewis Hamilton has stood on top of the Monza podium five times in the past.

Lewis Hamilton is making a “box office” move from Mercedes to Ferrari but Paul di Resta questions if swapping to Fred Vasseur’s team yields an eighth World title.

After 82 wins with the Mercedes works team, every one of his 103 won with a Mercedes engine, Hamilton will switch to Ferrari next season having signed a multi-year deal with the Scuderia.

Although he has spoken about the realisation of a “childhood dream”, fans and former drivers alike continue to question the motivation behind his shock move.

‘Is he the right man? Time will tell’

Whether it’s money, the deal in its entirety said to be worth $446 million, the dream of racing for Ferrari, or that he feels the Scuderia is his best bet for an eighth World title, Hamilton isn’t saying.

But whatever his reasoning is, Hamilton to Ferrari in 2025 is this year’s biggest story.

However, if his reasoning is that eighth World title, it is going to take more than Hamilton’s ability behind the wheel to achieve that, he’s going to need Ferrari to bring their A-game.

And former F1 driver di Resta questions whether Vasseur, taking up the reins as Ferrari’s team boss in January 2023, is the man to lead Hamilton to glory.

“I guess I could have probably expected that at some point where Lewis is,” the Scot told sport.de of Hamilton’s sensational move.

“But at the same time for somebody who’s been in Formula One and so successful, has driven a Formula One car powered by a Mercedes engine for every lap and every bit of success he’s had, to change that at this point of your career I think is a big thing.

“However, I think Fred Vassar is obviously a born racer. I raced with Fred like Lewis did years ago, you know how he comes into it.

“Is he the right man? Time will tell. Do they need a stronger personality? That’s what we’ll be looking back at in 10 years time and saying, ‘Well, was that the right thing?’

“But Lewis has obviously been convinced, he’s obviously been given security, he’s obviously been given something that’s driven him.

“I think it’s great news for motorsport. I think is great news for Formula One what’s happened to see him go in there and I guess it would be another step up if he goes and wins another title at Ferrari.

“That would rubberstamp already what has been an incredible career, but it’s a big task.”

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A task that begins with beating Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton is joining Leclerc’s team with the five-time Grand Prix winner often referred to, at least in the media, as Ferrari’s future and their future World Champion.

He’s put pen to paper on a new long-term deal that’s said to run through to 2029 meaning Hamilton is very much joining Leclerc’s team.

“He’s obviously got to get on top of Charles as well, who has obviously [been] part of that family a long time, and very much got the family around him,” conceded di Resta.

Hamilton versus Leclerc, potentially for the 2025 World title, definitely for the rank of Ferrari’s lead driver, promises to be the show to watch next season.

“But I’m excited to see it. It could be box office,” di Resta concluded.

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