Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton

Verstappen and Horner praise Hamilton’s “brave” switch to Ferrari

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Lewis Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari in 2025 has been praised by his biggest rivals at Red Bull.

Max Verstappen, who Hamilton fought for the 2021 world champioship, said he understood why the Mercedes driver had chosen to pursue his dream of driving for the Scuderia.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, however, believes Hamilton made his decision because he expects Ferrari will be more competitive than Mercedes.

“I think everybody was surprised – even his existing team – about Lewis’s move to Ferrari,” said Horner. “But he’s obviously seen something there that he believes in that serves him better than staying where he is.”

Horner said Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes after 12 years is a positive development for the championship.

“Obviously he’s got still a season to go with his existing team, but he’s proven in the past that he’s not shy of making brave decisions. His move from McLaren to Mercedes, for all intents and purposes, looked not to be the right one at the time but proved to be an inspired one.

“So I’m sure he will have thought about it long and hard and for Formula 1, a Hamilton-Ferrari tie-up is pretty exciting.”

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Hamilton will be 40 by the time he joins Ferrari, a much older age than past multiple champions such as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were when they moved to the Scuderia. Verstappen believes Hamilton is taking what could be one of his last chances to drive for F1’s most historic team.

“At the end of the day, if someone wants to drive for Ferrari, and especially someone like Lewis who has achieved so much, that’s his dream and goal,” he said. “And again, we don’t know the talks that they had at Mercedes at Ferrari, what they think is coming. So you can’t give an honest assessment from our side why you make that decision.

“But if he is happy with that move then he should go. I think, it will look cool. And of course, I hope for them that it’s going to be a success, but you don’t know that.”

However Verstappen, who is contracted to drive for Red Bull until 2028, denied he is entertaining thoughts of one day driving for Ferrari.

“I don’t want to sound disrespectful or whatever. I have a lot of respect for the brand Ferrari. But I’m very happy where I’m at the moment.

“I’m comfortable in the environment that I’m in, it’s not something that I’m looking to change or whatever. But in my life also I know that from what I’ve experienced so far never say never with things.

“But for me now, no, it’s not even in my head. But again, it’s only Formula 1. I want to do more things than Formula 1 as well.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “Verstappen and Horner praise Hamilton’s “brave” switch to Ferrari”

  1. awesomely smart comments aren’t they, you have to be impressed. And quite sweet :)

    tho seriously I think they do really respect him, which is nice.

    1. @zann I agree, kind of sweetly refreshing

  2. It will be interesting to see if this move is as good as his call to move to Merc. Very nice words from RB about LH and his move. Nice to see the like and respect each other.

  3. Sounds like Max is leaving the door open for a Ferrari Le Mans seat. Which I have to admit, would be pretty amazing.

    1. @g-funk Also, whatever is or isn’t going on at Red Bull right now, a plan B sounds a good idea for Max. Not that he’d have any problem moving to any other team.

      1. @david-br

        If for some reason the RB team starts falling apart, he could go to Mercedes and continue to win more WDC’s.

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