Ferrari’s decision to pair Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc together will help them close the gap on Red Bull and Max Verstappen as they aim to end their long wait for a Formula 1 championship, according to former F1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi.
The Mercedes star will head to Maranello for the 2025 season after making the surprise decision to leave the Silver Arrows, triggering a break clause in his contract. It means the seven-time world champion will replace Carlos Sainz as Leclerc’s team-mate after spending 12 years with the Brackley-based team.
The Scuderia have been praised for their efforts in convincing the 39-year-old to join them, although the decision to hire Hamilton has been met with some caution from Ferrari fans who feel it could upset Leclerc, 26, especially if the Briton is prioritised as their No.1 driver.
But ex-F1 driver Liuzzi, who raced briefly for Red Bull and spent two seasons with Toro Rosso between 2005 and 2006, thinks Hamilton and Leclerc’s rivalry as team-mates could bring them closer to challenging Red Bull and Verstappen at the top.
“It’s always better to see a clash between two drivers fighting for the title rather than when they fight for other steps on the podium,” Liuzzi said to Cusano 7. “It can be a healthy fight, but it can be an incentive to push yourself to the limit necessary to beat a superior Red Bull.”
Hamilton signing a ‘good move’
Despite being the richest team on the grid in terms of revenue, Ferrari have not won silverware in F1 since 2008 when they were crowned constructors’ champions. And their wait for a drivers’ title will extend to 17 years if they do not win in 2024, with Kimi Raikkonen the last Ferrari driver to lift the drivers’ championship in 2007.
Liuzzi, now 43, believes Hamilton still has the fire within to win titles and added that Ferrari’s enormous financial commitment proves they are willing to invest big to end their long wait for a drivers’ or constructors’ trophy.
“Lewis has shown that he is still a racing animal, a driver who leaves nothing to chance, who pushes to the finish on the track. It is an important choice by Ferrari, he will not give up until he achieves this eighth title,” Liuzzi added.
“[It’s] a good move by Ferrari not only economically, but it is difficult to make predictions, even if it doesn’t matter what your identity is. Predicting the future is difficult today, but the move is a good one and underlines that Ferrari wants to win again.”