‘Lewis Hamilton taking calculated risk with Ferrari F1 engine development’

Is Lewis Hamilton taking a 'calculated risk' by moving to Ferrari for F1 2025?

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 leads Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 leads Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP)…

Lewis Hamilton might be taking a “calculated risk” with Ferrari’s F1 engine development for 2026 with his move to the Italian team, it has been suggested.

The seven-time world champion has agreed to join F1’s most famous team from the 2025 season, in what is a bombshell switch from Mercedes. 

Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 with the knowledge that the Silver Arrows were focusing their efforts on the 2014 V6 hybrid engine regulations. Mercedes went on to enjoy an unprecedented streak of domination in which Hamilton won six of his seven world championships.

Similar to his move to Mercedes over a decade ago, Sky Sports' Craig Slater suggested that Hamilton could be gambling on Ferrari’s engine development ahead of new power unit regulations that will come into effect from 2026.

“He’s 39 years old and this may be the last opportunity for him to drive for Ferrari,” Slater explained.

“He has previously talked about being happy to finish his career at Mercedes, with whom he has achieved so much.

“He says that his idol Ayrton Senna never drove for Ferrari and therefore you can have an iconic career without driving for them.

“Is it a gamble in pure racing terms? Well he’s had two winless years. He has seen Red Bull sweep all before them.

(L to R): third placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme with pole sitter Charles Leclerc (MON)
(L to R): third placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying…

“He has another opportunity this year with Mercedes if they’ve got the car right over the winter to maybe do something, then in 2025 he will be at Ferrari, who have been nip and tuck with Mercedes over this previous period but a good distance behind Red Bull.

"Surely the expectation will be that Lewis Hamilton is not just going to do one year at Ferrari, he’s almost certainly agreed to one plus an option of a further year, which would take us into 2026.

“New engine regulations come in then. This is the gamble aspect, I think, because Mercedes have proved themselves as the best at making a Formula 1 engine.

“My expectation was that if he didn’t get it in the next year or two years, maybe the last gamble for him would be to stay at Mercedes until 2026, when Red Bull will probably suffer with the new engine rules.

“Ferrari also have a track record of good engine development, so maybe on that score it’s a kind of calculated risk that he’s taking.”

Slater was asked if the move was being ruled by Hamilton’s heart, rather than his head, to which he responded: “It’s so hard to finish a sporting career. You look at Cristiano Ronaldo at the moment.

“Lionel Messi has had the World Cup to maybe top it all off with but how difficult is it to exit the stage when you’ve had this glittering career at the very top. What does Lewis Hamilton do to top off this masterpiece?

“Certainly a couple of years in red, following in the shoes of Michael Schumacher. Could he maybe win the eighth world title? Schumacher won five of his seven with Ferrari. That could really top it off.”

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