Published On: Mon, Feb 5th, 2024
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Ex-Ferrari star explains ‘real power’ that will come with Lewis Hamilton transfer | F1 | Sport

Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger believes that the commercial pulling power that comes with Lewis Hamilton will bring ‘real power’ to the Italian constructor’s brand. The legendary Brit is, statistically, the most successful F1 driver of all time but, unlike the majority of his fellow drivers, his popularity is not confined to the sporting world.

The seven-time world champion shocked the motorsport world when news broke that he would be swapping Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the upcoming 2024 season. Hamilton has been with the Silver Arrows for over a decade after joining from McLaren back in 2013.

Since joining Mercedes, Hamilton has developed his reputation as not only a ruthless competitor on the track but as a celebrity icon away from the circuit. The 39-year-old is close friends with Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt and is often spotted frequenting fashion shows and celebrity parties.

This will bring a new dynamic to the Ferrari team in 2025 with Hamilton set to replace Carlos Sainz as Charles Leclerc’s team-mate. The Monegasque driver is already a star in his own right and is particularly popular among the Tifosi, but the British driver’s global appeal will take the team’s commercial opportunities to the next level.

Speaking to Corriere Della Sera, Berger – who won five Grands Prix during his six seasons with the Prancing Horse – said: “I have to congratulate Ferrari. Hiring Hamilton seems to me to be the best possible decision.

“Sometimes an energetic change is necessary within a working group. I am convinced that with Lewis, new skills, new engineers, a new way of making decisions will come to fruition. We are talking about the most important and consistent character in modern F1 in terms of results but also fan following.

“Lewis is a reference for a huge community which also includes people who are not only interested in motor racing. This puts him in a different position to [other drivers]. If we combine all this with the Ferrari brand, it also means generating real power in financial terms.”

However, before Hamilton links up with his new team, he still has one season remaining with the Silver Arrows. The iconic partnership produced six Driver’s Championship crowns for the 39-year-old and eight Constructors’ Championship titles, but Toto Wolff and his team must now prepare for a new era, spearheaded by George Russell.

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