Former Formula 1 driver and NOS analyst Jan Lammers has responded to the most striking transfer on what is known in the football world as Deadline Day: Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes to Ferrari. Lammers notes that the neutral fans have more than enough to look forward to, but points out that there are still some uncomfortable moments ahead for Hamilton himself.
The Formula 1 world has largely been lulled to sleep in recent months. At the end of the last season, all drivers were quickly assured of the same seat for 2024, and few notable news followed, except for a change of team bosses at Haas. About 24 hours ago, many fans were already woken up by Andretti’s rejection, but Lewis Hamilton provided the real blow with his announced switch to Ferrari.
Hamilton still has an uncomfortable year ahead
Lammers acknowledges that the news was a big shock, but is enthusiastic about the landslides that Hamilton and Ferrari have caused in the world. ‘This is of course a very nice shock. I think the fans are already rubbing their hands,” says Lammers. ‘How nice is it that Lewis Hamilton will go to Ferrari in 2025, and that we will get new engines in 2026? I think we’ll have fun in the coming years.’
The timing of the news is striking, given that Hamilton extended his contract with Mercedes five months ago. Lammers did not see this news coming. ‘Not at this stage. Hamilton will now have to drive for Mercedes for another year, and you already know that he will leave next year, so of course you will have a very uncomfortable situation for both teams,” says the sporting director of the Dutch Grand Prix.
This uncomfortable situation could possibly mean that driver changes will take place sooner, although Lammers is not counting on that. ‘That seems very unlikely to me. Sometimes you don’t know what the underlying reasons are for this news. I can imagine that as a Formula 1 driver you always want to drive for that iconic and legendary Ferrari. I don’t know how much of a role that played in Hamilton.’
Can Hamilton challenge Verstappen again?
Lammers thinks the 39-year-old Briton’s switch can be explained well from both perspectives. ‘From both Ferrari’s and Hamilton’s perspectives, they see the potential together. Ferrari has lost many points in recent years due to strategic errors and other errors, but also due to driver errors,” Lammers points out. “Hamilton has seen Ferrari’s potential, and we should not doubt Hamilton’s potential.”
“That is the key question of course,” the former driver responds when asked whether Hamilton can compete with former title rival Max Verstappen again at Ferrari. ‘I’m sure he thinks so. With seven world titles under his belt, that is a fair thought, but we think the fight is fantastic and hope that Max will continue for a while,” Lammers concludes.
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