Damon Hill: Lewis Hamilton chose Ferrari after “evidence” of car development

Did Ferrari's late-2023 form convince Lewis Hamilton to leave Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his second position in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his second position in…

Damon Hill believes that Lewis Hamilton spotted “evidence” of Ferrari’s improvement, convincing him to leave Mercedes.

Hamilton will drive for Mercedes for one final season before wearing the famous red of the Scuderia in 2025.

Hamilton is the F1 driver with the most grand prix wins ever, and Ferrari is the most successful-ever team.

Ex-F1 driver Hill said on the Sky F1 show: “This decision? We know it’s a given, the Ferrari benefits of the brand, and the history.

“But I think there’s more to this. Which is: I thought there was evidence that Ferrari were starting to solidify as a competitive package.

“They were starting to put together the components, and they were starting to get results.

“If you had a choice between Mercedes giving you the same equipment, and Ferrari?

“I’d rather go to Ferrari and try something different.”

Ferrari, last season, were the only team to win an F1 grand prix apart from Red Bull. Carlos Sainz won in Singapore.

They also claimed seven pole positions - five through Charles Leclerc and two from Sainz.

Notably, three of Leclerc’s pole positions were secured at the final five rounds, offering a hint of what might to come for Ferrari.

Karun Chandhok said about Hamilton’s decision: “Ultimately he exists to win.

“Leclerc qualified at the front for five grands prix last year.

“I think Ferrari have shown their upward trajectory.”

Martin Brundle added: “Lewis has got to make sure he goes to Ferrari and does a Michael Schumacher, not a Sebastian Vettel or a Fernando Alonso!”

Chandhok replied: “Mercedes have changed a lot. James Allison has come back and, reading his interviews, it seemed like he had identified areas of key weakness.

“The car was a bit of a dog? It did finish second in the constructors' championship ahead of Ferrari.

“For me, where it gets interesting - if the James Allison influence comes in, they have a comprehensive 2024, they beat Ferrari… what’s going on in Lewis’ head then?

“Has he made the wrong call?

“He played a blinder in 2012 to leave McLaren and come to Mercedes at the right time.”

Mercedes will launch their W15 on February 14.

They will hope, with Allison’s insight pivotal, that the car represents a huge upgrade on the past two seasons.

Hamilton has not won a grand prix since 2021. George Russell, in 2022 in Brazil, won Mercedes’ sole victory of the past two glum years.

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