July 22, 2024
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has been warned things ‘might be tricky’ for him at Ferrari.
Mercedes technical director James Allison believes Lewis Hamilton may struggle to cope with not being the ‘star’ at Ferrari next year. Hamilton will leave Mercedes to partner Charles Leclerc at Ferrari at the end of the season, when he will cut ties with Mercedes after nine years on their books.

The 38-year-old has said that he will be realising a ‘childhood dream’ by joining Ferrari but Allison believes he will be stepping into an environment that he is not used to. Speaking on the Beyond the Grid podcast, the Mercedes chief offered an insight into why he thinks driving for Ferrari ‘might get tricky’ for Hamilton.

“He’ll get a sense of the the spirit and passion of that team,” said Allison. “I think, initially, it might get tricky. At Ferrari, the Ferrari is the star. I think every driver who’s driven there, at some level or other, has had to come to terms with that.

james-allison
James Allison believes Hamilton may struggle with not being the ‘star’ of the show (Image: GETTY)

“If Lewis actually embraces that and loves it in the way that Michael [Schumacher] did, then there’s space for both to be great. If he doesn’t, then I think the brand and the Ferrari will always dominate.”

The news of Hamilton’s impending move to Ferrari came as a shock to Mercedes when it was officially announced in February. Team principal Toto Wolff admitted that he was only informed about it the previous day, but Allison knew that Hamilton choosing to leave was always a credible option.

Asked if he was left surprised by the news, he replied: “Not massively. I was surprised at the manner in which it happened, the timing of it, but I was aware of the nature of the contract we’d offered, and the nature of the contract we’d offered, permitted that to happen.

“So if it then happened, we shouldn’t be surprised, because that was explicitly a thing that we were prepared to happen, or else we wouldn’t have put it as an option in the contract. The precise timing and sequencing of when it happened, that I think caught everyone a bit on the hop, but that it did happen, I don’t think was unpredictable.”

Hamilton has won six of his seven Drivers’ Championship titles with Mercedes, the other coming when he raced for McLaren in 2008. He will be desperate to claim an eighth title when he joins Ferrari, which would see him surpass Michael Schumacher to become the most decorated champion in F1 history.

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