‘A pinch yourself moment’ - Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari move compared to Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami transfer

Lewis Hamilton's impending Ferrari move has been compared to another blockbuster sporting transfer.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 at a team photograph. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 23, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 at a team photograph. Formula 1 World…

Lewis Hamilton’s shock F1 switch from Mercedes to Ferrari has been likened to football star Lionel Messi’s transfer to Inter Miami.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton will team up with Charles Leclerc at Ferrari next season after activating an exit clause in his current Mercedes contract to complete one of the biggest driver moves in the history of F1.

Williams driver Alex Albon compared the magnitude of the news to Argentina forward Messi, considered one of the greatest footballer’s of all time, signing for David Beckham’s Inter Miami last summer.

“It’s great for the sport,” Albon told the gathered media including Crash.net. “What a news story it was.

“I didn’t see it coming but good for him. I think he wants that change up.

“It just shows you how big Lewis is, seeing the stock of Ferrari going up as much as it did and the general perception of the news, definitely for me it was one of those pinch yourself moments.

“Is this is a real story? There were so many rumours going around over the winter, you didn’t know what had any credibility or not.

“The Ferrari one definitely seemed to be a rumour to me until it turned out to be a real thing.

“It reminds me of the [Lionel] Messi to [Inter] Miami transfer - on such a huge scale and just shows you the appetite for F1.

“It leaves a lot of questions for the driver market as well and opens that up.”

Albon’s teammate, Logan Sargeant, reckons it will make the driver market “even crazier”.

“I was surprised, I was shocked. Shows Lewis can go wherever he wants!” He added.

"If that is what he feels will motivate him to keep improving and ultimately try and win another world championship then you have to respect and understand the decision.”

Williams team boss James Vowles, who previously worked with Hamilton at Mercedes, expected the move at some point, but admitted the timing caught him off guard.

“The timing came as a surprise to me,” Vowles said. “His want and desire to be in a Ferrari at some point in his career, no [it didn’t surprise me].

"Most world champions have been there or have a desire to get there because it’s a force of nature and still the most successful team in F1. That can’t be ignored.

“It’s the hardest thing you can do for every human in the world, to move from where you are comfortable to where you are not, challenges you and pushes you to the limit, and that’s Lewis all over.

"So the fact he’s doing it will actually be good for the sport and it will be good for Lewis because he’ll learn from it and he’ll challenge himself.

“It’s not good for Mercedes short term, but they will be absolutely fine with where they get to on drivers and they’ll come back strong as a result.  Ultimately, it’s a good thing all round.”

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