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Will Hamilton's MASSIVE Ferrari gamble work?

Will Hamilton's MASSIVE Ferrari gamble work?

Will Hamilton's MASSIVE Ferrari gamble work?

Will Hamilton's MASSIVE Ferrari gamble work?

Lewis Hamilton's 2025 move to Ferrari is the most seismic driver market movement in a generation for Formula 1.

The most iconic team partnering with the record holder for championships, wins, and pole positions seemed almost farfetched when the rumours began on Wednesday night, yet it's happening.

We'll naturally know more about the background behind Hamilton's Mercedes departure in the coming weeks and months, as it undoubtedly isn't a snap decision from either party.

What we do know, though, is that the Prancing Horse badge will be on Hamilton's overalls in 2025 after a career of wearing Mercedes' three-pointed star, and we can assess how this will work for Hamilton and Ferrari.

After all, even matches that look made in heaven can burn everyone involved — just ask 2007's Ron Dennis and Fernando Alonso.

READ MORE: He must've watched the Ferrari movie!' - social media reacts to Hamilton's HUGE news

Lewis Hamilton had incredible success with Mercedes, winning six world titles
Meanwhile, Ferrari have been struggling to win a title for well over a decade

Pros for Hamilton

Third Team Title: Any world championship-winning driver is a Formula 1 great, let alone the super 17 who have snagged multiple crowns.

There's something even more astonishing about those who find that success across several teams though, and nobody in the modern era has triumphed for a trio of constructors.

Hamilton taking an eighth title, assuming he doesn't win 2024, would be an unprecedented achievement in itself. But doing so with a third team? Legendary.

Better than the rest: Hamilton winning a championship with Ferrari would do more than bump him into the record books as the one and only with eight crowns.

It would also have the Brit managing to do what two of his contemporary peers could not - bring a championship back to Italy.

Ferrari lured both Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel in the 2010s, but neither could take a title despite coming agonisingly close.

Hamilton doing what neither of his long-term rivals could is a challenge worth switching teams for, let alone becoming the sport's first and possibly only eight-time champ.

Fans for Life: Hamilton is hardly short of Formula 1 fans — his success has attracted millions to support him at McLaren and Mercedes.

Even though they might respect the driver, the Tifosi have never loved Hamilton in the way they revere their own.

That will change in 2025 when the sport's most passionate fans, who take the greats into their hearts for life, will adopt Hamilton as one of them.

Cons for Hamilton

Ferrari's Failures: Look away now, devout Ferrari fans; the team have losing weaved into their recent DNA.

That their last drivers' championship success came in Lewis' rookie season in 2007 speaks volumes about how long it has been since the Scuderia took a driver to a title.

Putting it another way: Of today's grid, only Alonso and Hamilton have driven in a season where a Ferrari took championship glory.

True, it may be two winless seasons for Hamilton, but there aren't many signs that the grass should be greener at Maranello.

Lose to Leclerc: Hamilton and Leclerc in Ferrari is a mouthwatering prospect for a neutral fan.

The pair are highly-rated, proven race winners, and each boasts a qualifying record which should strike fear into the other nine teams.

However, that high Leclerc quality might prove the undoing of Hamilton's legacy, should the Monegasque outperform his 2025 stablemate.

Leclerc is a Ferrari driver through and through, not an incoming interloper.

That understanding of how the team operates — plus his raw talent, of course — could give the 26-year-old the edge in their time together and tarnish Hamilton's name if he's the one to secure a Ferrari title.

Pros for Ferrari

Two of the best: It's far easier to see the upside of the move for Ferrari, who will have arguably the strongest driver pairing since Max Verstappen had a near-peak Daniel Ricciardo alongside him at Red Bull.

Leclerc has had that 'champion-in-waiting' air to him since excelling at Sauber in his rookie season, and has already faced down and defeated a multiple world champion at Ferrari in Vettel.

We must wait to see whether he can beat Hamilton in equal machinery, but the Scuderia will have two of F1's brightest stars racing for them in 2025.

Team LH: No matter how world-famous your brand is, finding a wider audience is never a bad thing.

Hamilton redefined what it means to be an F1 driver by growing his fanbase outside the standard racing channels inhabited by the champions who ruled before him.

He is a brand too, and the collaboration has already caused a jump in Ferrari's share price, making the signing valuable to the entire organisation, not just the F1-focused Scuderia.

Silver Arrows Secrets: Any driver transfer between two teams brings more than just talent.

Knowledge travels, and there is more than a decade of memories from Mercedes which Hamilton will take to Maranello that could help car development.

Even outdated concepts and rough outlines for the new regulations might be helpful to Ferrari's engineers in creating a championship challenger.

Hamilton's embeddedness in Mercedes for so long as a leader of the team suggests there's very little he won't know about the inner workings of Brackley.

Cons for Ferrari

Too Hot to Handle: Hamilton and Leclerc have long looked to share mutual respect, but that's not uncommon when two drivers aren't battling for the title.

Should Ferrari develop a car which can sustain a championship fight, who do they throw their full support behind with two headline names in each seat?

Similar questions cropped up two years ago with George Russell and Hamilton, but that was a driver without a win entering the lion's den at Mercedes, and ultimately never mattered.

This situation is strikingly different, with Leclerc being the long-time Ferrari hopeful but the incoming Hamilton being the one with the records.

Surely each has cause to believe they're the one that should end the championship drought for the scarlet team?

We've seen how fiery things got between Alonso and Hamilton in 2007 and then against Nico Rosberg between 2014 and 2016. Can Ferrari handle such a potentially volatile lineup?

Reputational Damage: The Ferrari and Hamilton names are giants in the sport, and we're going to see the team with the most championships and wins combine with the driver with the most championships and wins.

However, Ferrari's history is doing the heavy lifting for those records, while Hamilton's success is contemporary.

If the pairing fails to bear fruit, the blame is unlikely to land at Hamilton's feet, and he'll be the latest in a growing list of the sport's best to stumble with the Scuderia.

It's a coup to land the record-breaking driver today, but Ferrari risks future reputational damage if Hamilton, Alonso, and Vettel can take a dozen titles between them but zero wearing red.

READ MORE: F1 Schedule 2024: Full calendar with all you need to know about every grand prix

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