According to former Formula 1 driver Marc Surer, Lewis Hamilton will find himself in a difficult situation, now that he has confirmed that he will drive for Ferrari from 2025. Both in 2024 at Mercedes and next year with his new Italian employer, Hamilton will have to deal with a complicated dynamic in the team.
According to Surer, Hamilton is taking big risks by switching to Ferrari. The former driver of Arrows and Brabham, among others, points out that the Briton is switching from a team where he has been active for twelve years and has won six world titles, to a team where Leclerc is seen as the ‘chosen one’. The former driver expects that Hamilton could come home from a rude awakening at the Italian team: “This reminds me a bit of the situation with Michael Schumacher during his comeback at Mercedes.”
Is Hamilton following in Schumacher’s footsteps in a negative sense?
“A certain Nico Rosberg quickly put him in his place,” said the Swiss at Formel1.de. Schumacher hung up his helmet after 2006, but returned in 2010 when Mercedes set up the current team. Schumacher was comprehensively beaten by the younger Rosberg three years in a row, only finishing on the podium at Valencia in 2012. ‘The same could happen with Lewis Hamilton. Leclerc will be a big problem for Hamilton, because Leclerc will be faster. If that is not the case, I would be very surprised.’
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Schumacher was seventeen years older than Rosberg at the time. The difference at Ferrari is now smaller: Hamilton celebrated his 39th birthday earlier this year, while Leclerc, like Verstappen, is 26 years old. An important difference at Ferrari will be that Leclerc will start his seventh season at the Scuderia in 2025. “He will certainly not be disadvantaged,” the former driver says about Leclerc. Surer believes that the risk lies with Hamilton. ‘He has learned from the situation with George Russell that he can beat a young driver within the same team. He has learned to deal with that situation.’
Hamilton is now also in a complicated situation at Mercedes. ‘This new season could be very difficult for Mercedes, because Mercedes now has to rely completely on Russell. However, you cannot give less material to a seven-time world champion. So they will have to treat both drivers equally.” However, as Mercedes shifts its focus to 2025, more and more sensitive information will become available, which the German team would rather not end up with its competitor.
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