Following the official announcement of Lewis Hamilton making the switch from Mercedes to Ferrari in 2025, the world of Formula 1 took off in surprise. This news has been reverberating through the F1 community, surprising even Lewis’s close ones, including his team principal Toto Wolff and brother Nicolas Hamilton.
Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi, who raced for the Italian Giants from 1991 to 1995, also had a say on this controversial switch. He compared Lewis’ Ferrari switch to the one made by the legendary Michael Schumacher in 1996.
Jean Alesi compares Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton
Jean Alesi, who was close to being Michael Schumacher’s teammate at Ferrari, shared his thoughts on Lewis Hamilton and his switch to Ferrari during an interview for the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.
Talking about Ferrari’s signing of Lewis Hamilton, he said, “It is a very important signal for the whole of Formula 1, for every true fan, because it generates a formidable combination, awaited by many Prancing Horse fans. A brand that has made racing history that is linked to a champion of exceptional prestige.”
He also admired Hamilton’s ‘depth’, personality and charisma, which he finds to be pretty similar to that of Michael Schumacher’s.
“Lewis’s depth makes me think of Schumacher’s, in terms of personality and charisma, with all due respect to Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel who also arrived in Maranello loaded with titles and a reputation of the highest order”, he continued.
Alesi further added that he expects this signing to make the 2025 season an ‘electrifying adventure’ that will grab ‘universal interest.’ He said, “I expect an electrifying adventure, renewed race after race, around which there will be universal interest.”
However, the Frenchman also went on to make a bold claim. He stated that Michael Schumacher, who he knew ‘quite’ well, would’ve never chosen Lewis Hamilton as a teammate.
“However, I can think of one last consideration to add almost as a punchline: Michael Schumacher, as I know him, as he thought and acted, Lewis Hamilton, in his team, alongside him, he would never have wanted him.”
Whether Michael Schumacher would’ve wanted Lewis Hamilton as a teammate or not makes a hot topic for a debate. But they are both tied up at the top spot with 7 world titles each, while Lewis Hamilton hopes to win his eighth this season.
Why did Lewis Hamilton switch from Mercedes to Ferrari?
With Ferrari’s signing of Lewis Hamilton now done and dusted, the reasons as to why he made the switch away from Mercedes is being widely speculated.
Amidst all the debate, one reason that makes a strong case is found in Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes. As per the Mercedes-AMG F1 News, Ferrari offered him terms that Mercedes didn’t.
“Lewis wanted a 3-year contract extension with Mercedes and an ambassador role, Mercedes only gave him 1 year and no ambassador role. Ferrari offered him a 3-year contract, and an ambassador role”, the post stated.
Another big factor that may have influenced Lewis’ decision is his dislike for the ‘unimpressive’ Mercedes W14 F1 car. He was clearly not impressed with the W14 last season, and even went on to term the car as ‘sh*t.’
Altogether, these two reasons – Mercedes’ flawed contract and the ‘unimpressive’ W14 – looks to have heavily influenced Lewis Hamilton’s switch from Mercedes to Ferrari.
It will surely be exciting to see Lewis Hamilton racing for Ferrari next season. Can he win his eighth world title with Ferrari and beat Michael Schumacher’s record? Let us know what you think in the comments section.