F1 journalist Michael Schmidt examines the question of what prompted Hamilton to switch to Ferrari in 2025. According to the journalist, Hamilton always dreamed of driving for the Italian team, but there was previously no reason for a switch. Schmidt finds it strange that Hamilton has now announced five weeks before the new season that he will still be moving to Ferrari.
Schmidt found the way in which the news of Hamilton’s switch to Ferrari could get out strange, especially because the Briton extended his contract with Mercedes in 2023. “He could actually have made this decision last year,” the journalist said in an episode of Formel Schmidt. ‘He could have immediately said: OK, I’ll do another year at Mercedes and then go to Ferrari. And Ferrari wanted him back then. So in my opinion something else happened that made him do it now. The timing is extremely strange, five weeks before the start of the season.’
The journalist from Auto Motor und Sport thinks that the simulator work prior to the new season may have been the deciding factor for Hamilton. ‘He has now actually made this decision (to go to Ferrari, ed.), as I said, without knowing what will actually happen (in the new season, ed.). The only thing he has on hand is wind tunnel data. Maybe the feeling of the simulator. And that was perhaps what made him decide that he is now going to Ferrari.’
‘Hamilton dreamed of Ferrari as a child’
Schmidt believes that Hamilton actually waited too long in his career to take the step to join the Italian team. ‘Hamilton actually took far too long. He could have gone to Ferrari much earlier. The longing was always there, even from the other side. And just the fact that he took so long in his career. By taking this step again, I see that he now knows what the myth of Ferrari is.’ According to the journalist, Hamilton waited so long because of the success he experienced with Mercedes, but Hamilton is now switching because ‘as a child he dreamed of driving for Ferrari.’
Schmidt warns Hamilton
According to Schmidt, the fact that Ferrari did not bring Hamilton to Maranello earlier was because the Italian brand did not need a star driver. ‘Ferrari is the biggest brand in motorsport. So they never really needed a big name to shine. Or they only get the best drivers to win a title and don’t see that as a marketing advantage, which is of course how Mercedes saw it.’ Schmidt therefore warns Hamilton in advance. “Anyone who drives for Ferrari must know that Ferrari comes first and everything else second.”