Will Ferrari Boost Sir Lewis Hamilton Back to the Top?

For Sir Lewis Hamilton, the 2024 Formula One season so far has been another tough one for the seven-time World Champion. The years of complete dominance for Mercedes AMG Petronas have been firmly banished to the past, with Hamilton’s last title success coming in 2020. That was the last of six championships in seven years for the Brit, with only his former teammate Nico Rosberg able to break that run in 2016. Hamilton is in his twelfth season with Mercedes but there will not be a thirteenth.

Before the cars had even made the first corner of the calendar in Bahrain, the news broke that Hamilton had signed for Ferrari and would join the team for the 2025 season. Hamilton, who also has the most race wins in F1 history with 103, only signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes in August 2023, but a clause in the contract allowed the man from Stevenage to sign for the Scuderia, and in doing so, fulfils a lifelong ambition for the Brit.

Only a few people will really know if Mercedes’ recent struggles contributed heavily to Hamilton’s decision, but in an ever-improving Ferrari, the chances of Hamilton picking up an eighth world championship appear much higher.

Perfect Timing?

Lewis Hamilton at the British GP
Lewis Hamilton at the British GP (Credit: Jen Ross, CC BY-ND 2.0)

While many were shocked by the announcement in February, few were surprised by Hamilton’s decision to swap silver for red. Hamilton’s talent is unquestionable, but he has been hampered by the car underneath him of late. His last race win was all the way back on 5th December 2021 in Saudi Arabia, the stage-setter for the infamous final race in Abu Dhabi, where Hamilton was controversially robbed of an eighth title.

Since that moment, Mercedes has been on the backfoot, falling behind Red Bull and now Ferrari and McLaren. Therefore, the timing of this move is unsurprising. Hamilton is also 39-year-old and while Fernando Alonso is still doing the business at the age of 42, there might not be many years left for Hamilton in the sport.

The timing does not also come as a surprise when the improvement of Ferrari over the past year or so is considered. While Red Bull still appear in a league of their own, Ferrari have been on the top step of the podium twice this season, with Carlos Sainz Jnr winning in Australia and Charles Leclerc finally claiming a win at his home race in Monaco. Sports betting operators will be keeping an eye on Ferrari’s progression this season as they look to close the gap to Red Bull even more.

The timing boards are the ultimate measure of speed, and Ferrari has been lighting them up more often than not recently. Changes made during the 2023 season to improve the sensitivity of the car with changing wind directions, as well as vast improvements to the aerodynamic performance have given the Scuderia a solid foundation to build on this season. And with Lewis Hamilton joining them for 2025, we could well see Ferrari, and Hamilton, back at the top.