Ferrari are the most famous team in Formula 1 history, and that's felt nowhere more strongly than their home country of Italy.
The announcement of Lewis Hamilton's move to the historic team in time for the start of the 2025 season, then, has provided excitement levels to rocket to new heights, as well as allowing the more sceptical of pundits to find new ways of enlightening the Tifosi.
The rumours were originally reported by Italian press, before the stunning move looked more and more likely to happen as the day's events transpired. Eventually, both Mercedes and Ferrari made the announcement, an announcement that has sent tidal waves rippling through the world of F1.
In an opinion piece with the well-known site Corriere Della Sera, former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi spoke about the impact that Hamilton's arrival may have on Charles Leclerc.
The Monegasque driver has recently signed a new contract with Ferrari, keeping him there until at least the end of 2026. When that deal was signed, Leclerc would have been forgiven for thinking he would be Ferrari's main man.
"I think Hamilton can overshadow anyone," Alesi said.
"On the other hand, Leclerc has the head and talent to play his cards. Which then, let's be clear, the "first driver" question today constitutes a pointless argument. It's no longer like in my time: for a team - any team - it is technically impossible to put different cars on the track if we think about how the chassis and engines are made.
"For this reason I believe that the qualifications and the races will dictate an internal hierarchy, which will make, if possible, this very high level confrontation within Ferrari even more exciting.
"However, one last consideration comes to mind to add almost as a punchline," the Frenchman continued. "Michael Schumacher, as I know him, as he thought and acted, Lewis Hamilton, in the team at his side, would never have wanted him."
Briatore surprised by Hamilton switch
Former Benetton and Renault boss Flavio Briatore was more positive about Hamilton's move, but made it pretty clear that Ferrari must now get their car design spot on ahead of 2025 and 2026, when new regulations enter the sport.
"I am very surprised by Hamilton's move to Ferrari, he must have had his reasons," he told another Italian publication in Gazzetta.
"The only thing to say is to wish Ferrari all the best and to the English driver.
“Why surprised? I think he warned the team in recent days, Mercedes has done a lot for him. We will get used to this reality.
"Do I agree with the choice? I don't know, first of all we have to get the car right, you can also have `Batman' in the team but if the car isn't competitive it's not that the driver can make the difference. It is essential that the car works."
Vettel on Mercedes wish list?
Having originally broke one of the biggest stories that the sport of F1 has ever seen, the Italian media were back at it again just 24 hours later, this time suggesting that Sebastian Vettel could make a stunning return to the sport to take Hamilton's now vacant spot at Mercedes in 2025.
While Toto Wolff has played down these rumours, attention will now switch to who might partner George Russell, with the likes of Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz and Andrea Kimi Antonelli all being tipped to join the Brackley-based squad.
Another publication, Tuttosport, were very disappointed with some fans' comparison of Hamilton's Ferrari switch with that of football star Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus back in 2018.
"Juventus had not taken a "package", see the performance that CR7 had during his stay at Juventus, and the outbreak of the pandemic had a decisive impact on the financial problems," they outlined.
"Ferrari certainly has no portfolio problems, you can read the financial statement illustrated yesterday in these pages. Is it just a marketing operation? Perhaps Maranello's global fame will continue to grow, but those who buy a Ferrari don't do so because Hamilton drives it in Formula 1, not even if he wins. He buys it because it's a Ferrari , and that's it.
"The criticism of Hamilton's age, then, is ridiculous and shows how little those who have certain doubts know about the drivers, the world of racing and its history," they said.
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