No eighth title for Hamilton at Ferrari: ‘Verstappen is the boss of everyone, even in a lesser car’

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No eighth title for Hamilton at Ferrari: 'Verstappen is the boss of everyone, even in a lesser car'

Rob Kamphues has great admiration for the decision of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton to switch to Ferrari after this season, but it will not give the 39-year-old Briton his eighth world title. Max Verstappen is too good for that, even in a lesser car, the Ziggo Sport presenter thinks.

The announcement that Hamilton will defend the colors of Ferrari from 2025 came as a bolt from the blue for many, including Kamphues, who took the opportunity to correct an earlier statement. ‘Hamilton’s time in the spotlight would be over, I claimed a year ago. And I now return to those words. I saw that wrong, I freely admit it,” Kamphues writes in his column for Formula 1 Magazine, before explaining his comment. ‘Firstly, because Lewis (Hamilton, ed.) was not beaten around the ears by George Russell last year as expected, but secondly and especially because he has the courage to go to Ferrari. You would say that the world has been turned upside down, as if Geert Wilders were forming a government with Frans Timmermans’, the presenter makes a special comparison.

Kamphues also thinks the choice of the Mercedes driver shows a lot of courage. “What surprises me and what I admire Hamilton for is that he dares to switch to a team that is built around Charles Leclerc, according to many the fastest man in the paddock over a lap,” says Kamphues. “At a glance you would say that he will be beaten, but perhaps Lewis took a good look at how Sainz did last year,” Kamphues points out that the Spaniard often made things difficult for his teammate.

Eighth title possible at Ferrari?

Kamphues still stands behind another statement he made earlier. ‘Around this time last year I wrote here that the Hamilton era was definitely over. I still see it that way, you know. We are in the middle of the Max Verstappen era. His third title in a row has sufficiently proven this and as far as I’m concerned you can already fill in title numbers four and five in pencil. Even if Helmut Marko, Christian Horner, Pierre Waché and Adrian Newey all leave at the same time, I think it will take until 2026 before the entire Red Bull Racing empire collapses,” said Kamphues.

However, the Ziggo presenter sees Hamilton’s revival after a bad period at Mercedes. “Maybe after 2021, Lewis took a bit of a break with that dilapidated Mercedes and was more focused on project 44 and his vegan hamburger chain,” Kamphues speculates. ‘Last season it looked like he was half a second faster as soon as the car had some pace. Who knows what a super-motivated Hamilton can do if, in 2026, provided that Red Bull empire does indeed collapse, he gets a Ferrari under his ass that is ripe for a world title. I think Leclerc will still have a hard time with Lewis and then a second youth will begin for the Briton.’

However, Kamphues wants to emphasize that this does not mean that he believes in an eighth world title for Hamilton. ‘I think that Max, in a slightly inferior car, is also the boss of everyone and that in 2029 when he has retired we will say: Max was the best racing driver of all time. Maybe Alonso and Lewis are waiting for Max to stop earlier than them and they can just squeeze in a title before the Piastri/Mclaren era starts,” Kamphues jokes. ‘Because that’s going to happen in the future. And if everything doesn’t go as I predict, feel free to beat me about it in 2030,” he concludes.

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