Former F1 team founder Giancarlo Minardi believes that Ferrari have made a mistake by signing Lewis Hamilton for 2025. The Brit announced earlier this month that he would be leaving Mercedes in favour of joining the Italian team, sending shockwaves through the world of Formula One.
Hamilton signed a two-year contract extension with the Silver Arrows last season, leading many to believe that he would bow out as a Mercedes driver. However, after speculation had emerged that the 39-year-old had intentions of jumping ship, Ferrari announced that an agreement had been reached for him to join the team in 2025.
Ferrari had attempted to acquire the services of Hamilton previously and therefore the deal is largely viewed as a significant statement of intent by the team. But not everyone is convinced that replacing Carlos Sainz with Hamilton is the correct decision.
Minardi is among those to cast doubt on Ferrari’s decision, telling Quotidiano: “If we talk about marketing, it’s a brilliant operation, so hats off to John Elkann. But if we talk about Formula 1 then the situation changes.
“There are different dimensions. I am not naive, I understand the reasons that I will define as a commercial of the great agreement between a seven-time champion of the world and the Lady in Red. It is a meeting between myth and legend. However, I, speaking instead of motorsport and that’s it, wouldn’t have taken someone like Hamilton.”
Hamilton will be 40 when he joins Ferrari, and, although he has shown no signs of slowing down physically, some have raised concerns about whether signing a driver towards the end of their career at a time when immense improvement is required is the correct decision.
Minardi does not believe that Hamilton’s age will be an issue though, continuing: “I swear that in my reasoning the registry office doesn’t matter. Fernando Alonso is even older than Lewis but is still very strong. And Hamilton is still competitive too. So we have to ask ourselves: in all these years has Ferrari lost because of the fault of those who drove it?
“No, they have not been without titles for a generation due to the responsibility of those behind the wheel. It follows that Hamilton is no guarantee of success. Just as Sebastian Vettel wasn’t. In F1 it is essential to have a winning car. You don’t build a house from the roof, but from the foundations.”