Hamilton and Ferrari can follow in Verstappen and Red Bull’s footsteps


Former Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley believes the lift Lewis Hamilton’s move will give the Scuderia could see the partnership emulate Red Bull’s recent domination over F1.

Seven-time champion Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of the season to join the Maranello-based outfit, joining Charles Leclerc in a tantalising duo.

The Briton will be hoping the switch can reignite aspirations of a record-breaking eighth Drivers’ crown and the first title for Ferrari since it took the Constructors’ in 2008.

Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Smedley explained: “I think that he’s such a consummate professional that he will lift every area of the team.

“I think the difference perhaps, from certainly when I was there and Fernando was there, is that they’ve shown their potential over the last few years.

“Even last year, they showed that they were one of the few teams that were actually genuinely able to take it to Red Bull on occasion, especially in qualifying. There are areas where they need to improve if they’re going to genuinely challenge for world championships.”

Hamilton a ‘catalyst’

“I think Lewis definitely can be a catalyst for crystallising the team around him or around him and Charles [Leclerc],” added Smedley.

“Sometimes a Formula 1 team just needs something to help them put in that extra one per cent and when you’re putting in 110 per cent, putting in that extra one or two per cent makes a massive difference.

“It’s the same as what happened with Red Bull after their fallow period – once you start to win, it actually becomes difficult to stop. You’ve got to almost make specific interventions for it to stop, like breaking up the team, key drivers leaving, or stuff like that. That’s how periods of domination stop.

“But you see, once it gets a sniff of winning and it’s got instrumental people within that team – people like Lewis, who are just winning machines and are driven to win, weekend in, weekend out – if you’ve got those people leading your team, it becomes difficult to lose. I think that’s what we may see with Ferrari.”



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