The move to Ferrari 2025 that shocked us all!

On February 1st 2024, Lewis Hamilton shocked the sporting world. The media declared that, for the 2025 Formula One season, the Stevenage-born driver would be moving to Scuderia Ferrari for the final leg of his monumental career. Hamilton has established himself as one of the greatest drivers in motorsport history with seven world championships and 197 podium finishes (103 of which are wins). He seeks to end his career in a blaze of scarlet glory at the most historically-rich team in F1. Such a surprising and incredible move has fractured the driver market and left some members of the F1 and F2 paddock in better positions than others. But who benefits from this insane move and who risks spinning out on the treacherous track of downfall?

Winner: Lewis Hamilton and Mission 44

There’s no question that Hamilton benefits from this monumental move by getting to drive in a team everyone dreams of racing for. Even if the car is less satisfying to drive than the W14 and its predecessors, contributing to such history and gaining further adoration of the Tifosi is enough to convince any driver to drape themselves in red. While Hamilton stated moving on from Mercedes, who had invested in his motorsport career since he was 13, was difficult, he is eager to become a long-term partner of Ferrari. In turn, Ferrari chairman John Elkmann has been on the record to state the team is committed to investing in him as a Ferrari ambassador as well as his Mission 44 initiative – with some estimates of a cool 400 million euros floating around!

Loser: Carlos Sainz

Unfortunately, with such a move, someone loses their dream job. With Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari contract being locked down for the foreseeable future, it was Sainz who found himself in the firing line. Despite being a proven race winner and dependable #2 driver for the Scuderia, his stats pale in comparison to his successor. While being fired must be soul-crushing, there’s plenty of places the pancake-loving Spaniard could find himself. Perhaps he could solidify himself with established networks at Sauber ahead of the Audi takeover? Or could he go back to his Red Bull roots and partner Max Verstappen? Perhaps he’ll switch to other racing opportunities in WEC, Rally or Indycar? No matter where Sainz finds himself in ‘25, he still has plenty to prove, which other teams will be eager to capitalise on.

Winner: George Russell

Now that Hammertime has ticked on by, Russell finds himself a leader of one of the most successful F1 teams since the beginning of the hybrid era. As a proven race-winner and fierce opportunist, Russell will need to prove to his loyalties in Mercedes that he can carve a new path to the front of the grid for Brackley base. With words of confidence from team boss Toto Wolff and a wealth of success already noted on his racing CV, George will undoubtedly cement his long-awaited status as the #1 driver in the Silver Arrows.

Loser: Charles Leclerc

Hearing that one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport will become your teammate must bring such intense waves of emotion. First, you’d be confused and amazed at such an incredible move. Immediately after, dread begins to set in as you realise you’ve got to prove that your universally-hyped racing chops can truly stack up to a GOAT’s. If the Monegasque succeeds at this mammoth-level task, he can unequivocally prove to the world that he has what it takes to be a world champion. However, if he fails, it could be his undoing and may leave himself and Ferrari in a precarious situation in the future. Good luck, Chuck!

Winners: Ferrari and Frédéric Vasseur

While Leclerc might be their star driver, having a seven-time world champion secured in that elusive second seat will surely keep Ferrari’s options open for their #1 in 2025. But even if Hamilton ends up playing the supporting role, it must be great news for Ferrari to gain not only the Briton’s on-track race pace but also his technical and development insights. In fact, Vasseur worked with Hamilton across his junior career as team principal of ART’s F3 and GP2 teams in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The shared history and natural affinities between upper management and drivers, not to mention Lewis’s gargantuan commercial value, will hopefully fill Ferrari (and their pockets!) with cash— I mean, confidence, in the medium-term.

Losers: Mercedes and ToTo Wolff

Unfortunately for Wolff and Mercedes, losing a seven-time world champion is a pretty massive blow. Rumours regarding a failed deal for Hamilton to become a Mercedes ambassador and gain investment for his Mission 44 foundation fell through, causing him to look to other heritage teams for that support. For Merc to fumble such an impressive and loyal member of their family is a true shame for the Silver Arrows. Nevertheless, the stage is now set for their star driver-in-waiting to finally secure those all-important forecasted podiums. In addition, a rumoured no-poaching clause in Hamilton’s contract ensures that key Mercedes staff like Race Engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington and Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin are there to stay – for now!

Winner: Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Mercedes’ loss of one great champion may lead to them inheriting another with the blazingly fast F2 rookie Kimi Antonelli. Funnily enough, while Antonelli lives close to Maranello and drives for Italian-based PREMA Racing, he is actually a Mercedes academy driver. In 2022, he won both the German and Italian F4 series, winning over half the races across them both. He even missed a few! In testing, he’s proved to be exceptionally quick, setting the 4th fastest time on the first day of F2 testing in Bahrain. If you’re a Mercedes fan and starting to miss Hamilton already, just watch how quick Kimi is and you’ll have a new favourite driver in no time.

If you’re curious on how to watch F2, click here to check out the 2024 F2 racing calendar. Usually, races air a few hours before various F1 events, so make sure you tune in early to catch Antonelli and co. on track!

Loser: Lewis Hamilton??

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Hey, didn’t you say Lewis comes out a winner by moving to Maranello?” (or something to that effect). But let’s not forget the infamous and dreaded Ferrari curse! Moving to Ferrari has led to the downfall of many F1 greats. Vettel, Alonso, Raikonnen and even Leclerc at times have had their racing soul sucked away following some of the Scuderia’s baffling strategic decisions, humiliating pitstop errors and terrible reliability or safety car luck. However, I’m choosing to remain cautiously optimistic for Lewis in ‘25. Here’s to hoping #44 can be their lucky number and perhaps earn Hamilton that deserved 8th world championship.

If you’d like to hear more F1 and motorsport news, or get in on some terrible takes on what the 2025 grid is going to look like, why not check out Full Throttle Motorsport Podcast to hear our horrendous ‘25 predictions and get some further insight on the Hamilton drama.

Edited by Grace Hughes

Designed by Dani Price


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