Lewis Hamilton facing same problem as Michael Schumacher ahead of Ferrari 2025 switch

Michael Schumacher came out of F1 retirement to join Mercedes in 2010

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Lewis Hamilton has been warned he is potentially facing an identical problem that Formula 1 icon Michael Schumacher struggled with by moving to Ferrari.

The 39-year-old will make a sensational switch from Mercedes to the Scuderia for the start of the 2025 season after triggering a break clause in his contract with the Silver Arrows.

The surprise nature of the move, having been ruled out as recently as last season, represents one of the most high-profile driver moves since Hamilton himself left McLaren to join Mercedes in 2013.

He will be partnered with Charles Leclerc when he arrives at Maranello after he extended his contract. And the Monegasque’s talent is undeniable, with his return of five race wins and 23 pole positions since joining the Prancing Horse in 2019 proof of his competitiveness.

Leclerc has led the team as their first driver ever since Sebastian Vettel’s departure and Hamilton, who will take Carlos Sainz’s seat, has been warned that he could struggle to match the 26-year-old’s pace.

Leclerc poses a problem for Hamilton

F1 expert Marc Surer believes Leclerc will be quicker than the seven-time world champion and drew parallels with how Schumacher struggled to keep up with Nico Rosberg when he returned to the sport with Mercedes in 2010.

Leclerc is a big problem for [Hamilton] because Leclerc will be faster. Anything else would surprise me,” Surer said in an exclusive livestream on the Formula 1’s German YouTube channel.

“It reminds me a bit of the situation with Michael Schumacher during his comeback with Mercedes. A certain Nico Rosberg put him in his place. And Lewis Hamilton could feel the same way.”

Michael Schumacher at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix | Mercedes F1 Team

Schumacher drove alongside Rosberg for three years between 2010 and 2012 after the German manufacturer took over the now-defunct Brawn team.

At the time, Rosberg was 17 years younger than the veteran German racer – and he simply could not match his pace after being beaten in all three seasons he drove alongside his compatriot.

There are some similarities, given that Leclerc is 13 years Hamilton’s junior, although Sainz managed to eclipse Leclerc during the 2021 season and there have been question marks raised about Leclerc’s ability to handle the pressure when leading from the front.

But the most recent data from the 2023 drivers’ championship, where Hamilton finished 30 points clear of Leclerc, may offer a different view of how the two drivers will fare in the same team.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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