Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari shock move about ‘earning real money again’, claims Ralf Schumacher

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton smiles in a press conference at Bahrain pre-season testing with a prominent Ferrari badge alongside him

Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari in 2025, bringing an end to his highly successful spell with Mercedes

Six-time Formula 1 race winner Ralf Schumacher sees financial motives behind the Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari deal, as he suggested Hamilton’s ability and motivation is the “crucial” question mark surrounding the partnership’s success.

Hamilton made the bombshell reveal ahead of the F1 2024 campaign that he would become a Ferrari driver from next season, which will mark the end of his record-breaking Mercedes partnership which has produced six Drivers’ titles since he joined in 2013.

Lewis Hamilton wanted ‘real money again’ and post-F1 benefits

Hamilton will partner Charles Leclerc in what promises to be an intriguing Ferrari pairing, though Hamilton’s poor start to his final Mercedes season has sparked speculation over who is set to win out in that future intra-team battle, with Hamilton’s current team-mate at Mercedes George Russell having held the clear advantage so far this season.

Indeed, Schumacher believes the level which Hamilton now operates at and his motivation will make or break his Ferrari career, though he feels Hamilton has looked to set himself up very well financially with this surprise team swap.

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Asked by Sport1 if Hamilton could inspire a fresh era of record-breaking Ferrari success comparable to what Michael Schumacher did, his brother Ralf replied: “That’s a good question. One thing is certain: Fred Vasseur – now in his second year as team principal – has paved the way.

“The car has improved, calm has returned to the team and he is doing everything he can to make Ferrari even stronger in the future with new technicians.

“But the crucial question is: How good is Lewis Hamilton still? How motivated is he? He expects that everything will be done to make him feel comfortable, that he is number one in the team.

“But I don’t think Charles Leclerc sees himself as the second driver at Ferrari. It’s a test for him. He has to beat Hamilton, who is in the home straight of his career due to his age.

“But Leclerc has advantages: He is a Ferrari pupil and speaks perfect Italian. That’s why it will be exciting to see how everything develops at Ferrari.

“But I can understand Lewis: He wanted to earn real money again and drive for a brand that has so much appeal that he can still use it after his active career.”

Leclerc signed fresh multi-year terms at Ferrari shortly before the Hamilton deal was confirmed, with both drivers set to see Ferrari into the new F1 era from 2026, where Ferrari’s best chance of ending their barren title spell – running since 2008 – could reside with the new-look cars and power units.

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