The big ‘surprise’ that awaits Lewis Hamilton after historic Ferrari move

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton on the podium at Monza in 2019.

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

Former Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley believes the power of the Tifosi will “absolutely take Lewis Hamilton by surprise” in 2025, such is their passion for their team.

That will be coupled with the potential surprise of how much the team will “embrace” him within that too, with the Scuderia long having held the dual role of Formula 1 team and Italian national team on the F1 grid.

Hamilton has appeared on the podium at Monza eight times in his career – five times on the top step – but doing so in the red of Ferrari from 2025 would represent a career feat that few have managed.

Rob Smedley: Ferrari and Tifosi ’embrace’ to take Lewis Hamilton by ‘surprise’

Smedley was the long-time race engineer of Felipe Massa, Hamilton’s 2008 title rival at Ferrari, and spent a decade with the Scuderia before moving to Williams in 2014.

He will have as much experience as anyone about the expectations that come with working for Ferrari, with the pressure of the Italian media ever present alongside the full-throated support of the fans all around the world.

But while the day-to-day work at Ferrari may not be too different to what he has experienced at Mercedes in the past decade, Smedley believes the “fan power” from the Tifosi could help him even more on his way.

“I think what awaits him is, if you take the top teams in Formula 1, the way they are structured technically, the amount that they’ve been able to invest into their teams in which is built capability to be able to build fast Formula 1 cars that have a potential to win World Championships,” Smedley explained on the F1 Nation podcast.

“There’s probably not a great deal of difference, there are going to be nuances that Lewis will notice from Mercedes to Ferrari, but I can’t believe that there’s a huge difference between the teams.

“But what will absolutely take him by surprise, I think, is the way that the team will embrace him, and more so [how] the fans will embrace him.

“I don’t think that there are any fans in the world who are as passionate and united as a nation behind their Formula 1 team. Make no mistake that Ferrari is as big, if not bigger, than the national football team, than any of the national teams. recommends

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“We as UK Formula 1 fans we tend to kind of divide, you know, we can be Ferrari fans, we can be Mercedes fans, we can kind of get partisan behind whatever team we like.

“In Italy, there’s one team – and that brings a huge amount of energy. And I think that Lewis is a guy that thrives off that energy.

“He’s always been very good with, on a reciprocal basis, trying to use the energy of the fans, either in the stadium in the track, or just in general, [he has a] massive following.

“Very well loved and respected, I would say, across the board as a driver within the sport.

“So I think that he’s going to be able to use that fan power, if you like, to drive him on to better things.”

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