Brundle: Ferrari move will 'energise' Hamilton and F1

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his third position with the Ferrari team in parc ferme. 17.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
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Sky Sports F1 commentator and expert analyst Martin Brundle has given his approval to Lewis Hamilton's decision to leave Mercedes at the end of 2024 and move to Ferrari next season.

Former F1 driver Brundle says that the move will energise F1 as a whole, and will give Hamilton himself a new lease of life, together with an extra shot of motivation to clinch his long-coveted eighth world championship.

“I was a little bit depressed earlier on in the week - depressed is probably too strong a word - but Lando Norris is signed long term at McLaren, as is Oscar Piastri,” Brundle said on Friday.

“George Russell is now long-term at Mercedes Benz, Leclerc is signed up long-term for Ferrari, Max Verstappen long-term at Red Bull," Brundle continued. "It all looked a little bit static, to be honest.

“The championship’s quite mature now in terms of the venues, Andretti didn’t get the entry, and I’m thinking ‘we need some stories’ so this is just what we needed to energise it," he said.

“I am excited about it, because what a story: Hamilton in a Ferrari!”

Since the news of Hamilton's move to Maranello broke on Thursday, many pundits have been wondering about Hamilton's motivation in agreeing to the deal and whether it is a good idea for him.

Mercedes and Ferrari were evenly matched in last year's championship, with the German team finishing just four points ahead of the Italians in the final constructors' championship standings.

Hamilton himself took P3 in the drivers battle as 'best of the rest' behind Red Bull's line-up, comfortably ahead of current Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. So what does he hope to get out of the move?

“He’s had a couple of years of not winning a race," Brundle opined. "Lewis has probably gone, ‘Right, I’m going to stop focusing so much on all of the stuff outside of motor racing and get back to Lewis Hamilton the racing driver’.

"I think this is just a wonderful opportunity to motivate him, to energise him for this phase of his career," suggesting that Hamilton has been watching Fernando Alonso's rejuvenation since moving to Aston Martin.

Brundle suggested that Hamilton's decision to reunite with long-term mentor Marc Hynes had also been key to this week's decision. He said Hynes, a former racer, was "a really solid guy to have around him" and gave Hamilton "eyes and ears in the paddock" when it came to making choices.

One motivation for Hamilton is to be seen as more than a 'one team' winner. Although his initial title came with McLaren, the others have been part of a Mercedes team effort and Hamilton wants to show his success is bigger than Brackley.

In that, this week's announcement is reminiscent of Michael Schumacher's decision to leave Benetton and join an ailing Ferrari in 1996 to make them a world beating team and secure his own enduring reputation within the sport.

“We talked to [Lewis] about it for years in interviews," Brundle said "‘Wouldn’t you fancy doing a Michael Schumacher and going to Ferrari and trying to make them champions again?’

"But [until now] he’s always said, ‘Look, I’ve been with Mercedes. Even when I was at McLaren, I had Mercedes engines. They’re my team and my manufacturer for life’."

That will all change in 2025 as Hamilton heads into the complete unknown at Ferrari, suggesting that as far as his lifetime commitment to Mercedes goes, life is about to begin again at 40.

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