Formula 1 Racing

Why Ferrari thinks Hamilton’s impact will go far beyond F1 lap time

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24,Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Hamilton announced earlier this year that he would be leaving Mercedes at the end of this season and joining Ferrari as Charles Leclerc’s team-mate for 2025.

And although Vasseur has so far, out of respect for current driver Carlos Sainz, been reluctant to talk much about Hamilton, he has now offered some background of the reasons for his determination to lure him on board.

In an exclusive interview with, Vasseur said that Hamilton’s arrival brought gains that would start many months before he even sat in a car for the first time.

“The input of Lewis or another driver is not just about qualification lap time and so on,” said Vasseur.

“It’s the finality of the job. What we all collectively can see Saturday or Sunday, at the end of the day, the job of the driver is much wider.

“It’s starting sometimes six or eight months before the season, to be able to work on the next project, to bring his own experience, his own view on what we can do, or how we could do it and so on and so on.”

Vasseur believed that, with his organisation in its current guise still in its infancy, having someone with Hamilton’s vast experience of the board would be priceless in giving it a proper direction to head in.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“I think we are still a young team. It’s not just a matter of age, but it’s a matter of experience together, and wins together.

“So that means that we are quite green, or quite young, and to have someone into the loop with such a big background and such big experience will impact for sure.

“We have time to discuss this with Lewis and, for me, into the building process of the team – you want to have a long-term view and for the next cycle.

“I’m not speaking about ’24 or ’25, it’s about cycle and it’s where clearly, we have to do steps.

“We made some improvements already I think, compared to 12 months ago, to involve the drivers much earlier into the project and to build up the characteristic of the car with them.

“I think we are going in the right direction. But for sure Lewis will add value.”

Hamilton secrets and Newey gossip

One of the other encouraging aspects Vasseur found about Ferrari’s signing of Hamilton was that the news did not leak from the team until the 11th hour.

Whereas previously Ferrari had been widely known for not being able to keep information within the confines of the Maranello factory walls, it was only…

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