The GOAT to meet the Prancing Horse - has there been a more shocking driver move in the last many decades? We think not!
Lewis Hamilton has finally given in to Ferrari's relentless pursuit to hire him as their star driver. Hamilton will end his dream relationship with Mercedes at the end of the 2024 Formula 1 season and race for the Scuderia Ferrari from 2025.
Almost no one saw this move coming. But why is Lewis Hamilton going? What could be the 'release clause' he's triggered in his Mercedes contract? In fact, he just extended his contract with the Silver Arrows less than six months ago. We discuss the sporting and other reasons as to why Hamilton has chosen to make this move.
As for Ferrari, why do they so badly want Lewis Hamilton? What's next for Carlos Sainz Jr.? It would be a bummer if he didn't get either of the seats vacant at Red Bull Racing and Mercedes from 2025. He's held his own against the might of Charles Leclerc in Ferrari, what else does he need to do to get himself a fast car?
Who will Mercedes replace Lewis Hamilton with? Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, the two hotshot drivers are locked in at McLaren for the long term. The other two, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, aren't available either. Does Mercedes want a star driver to replace their departing star? OR will they trust a young gun like Red Bull Racing did with Verstappen many years ago?
Apart from Carlos Sainz Jr., the other names doing the rounds are Fernando Alonso and Alexander Albon. But could Mercedes bring Sebastian Vettel out of retirement and if not, give Mick Schumacher's Formula 1 career a second life? Toto Wolff has been very vocal of Vettel and Schumacher's talents. Now that he has a vacant cockpit, will he walk the talk?
In this episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Soumil Arora, @f1statsguru and Kunal Shah discuss all of the above and more. Tune in!
(Season 2024, Episode 05)
Image courtesy: Mercedes