Hamilton joining Ferrari is like LeBron joining the Lakers

We’re six races into the 2024 F1 season and while Max Verstappen and Red Bull seem infallible, cracks have been showing in that winning machine, especially with the news that Adrian Newey will be departing the team.

There’s also excitement around Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari next season and with the Prancing Horse showing improvement, there’s a possibility that the seven-time world champion can propel them back to the championship picture.

We spoke with two-time F1 world champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, who expressed his excitement at Hamilton joining Ferrari. He spoke about his dream scenario of Adrian Newey joining forces with Frederic Vasseur and Hamilton at Ferrari and also why Max Verstappen could thrive at Mercedes under Toto Wolff.

Hamilton to Ferrari is like LeBron to the Lakers

The 1972 and 1974 world champion could hardly contain his excitement at the prospect of seeing Hamilton in the Scuderia red. The motorsport icon likened the move to LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari is like LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers. The biggest star in the sport joining the biggest team."

"Lewis making the decision to go to Ferrari was a big surprise to me and to everybody."

Fittipaldi added that Hamilton will bring a wealth of experience and he himself will be very motivated to bring Ferrari back to winning ways.

"And I think for Lewis, going to Ferrari, he is going to be very motivated to win a championship with them. I'm sure he'll give 110 percent of performance, focus and he'll bring a lot of experience from his Mercedes years, to Ferrari, as a driver."

"I'm excited to see Lewis at Ferrari."

Hamilton and Fred Vasseur will be like Schumacher and Jean Todt

Fred Vasseur and Lewis Hamilton have a long history together, having worked in Formula 2 and Formula 3. Fittipaldi likens the pair to potentially emulating the successful partnership of Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher.

Fittipaldi states that by coincidence, the pair find themselves in a similar situation. Schumacher and Todt led Ferrari’s resurgence in the late 1990s and he believes Vasseur and Hamilton can do the same.

"By coincidence, Lewis and Fred Vasseur will be like Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt."

"Frederic Vasseur, I worked for a year with him, he was the manager of my A1 team. He's a very focused guy. Very serious like Jean Todt." 

"Lewis and Fred have known each other for so many years. They worked together in F3 and F2. They've had ups and downs, wins and losses, problems but they know each other very well and that's the beginning of a very strong relationship that will spread in the team."

The Brazilian legend adds that Hamilton and Vasseur will bring about a change in environment at Ferrari just like how Schumacher and Todt did.

"Frederic Vasseur and Lewis Hamilton working together will help change the environment at Ferrari. And that's exactly what happened with Jean Todt and Schumacher. They changed the environment. Gave more motivation and dedication to the team and raised expectations. I think that will happen with Lewis for sure."

I’d love to see Adrian Newey at Ferrari

Fittipaldi outlined his dream scenario and that is seeing the trio of Hamilton, Vasseur and Adrian Newey together. The legendary designer announced he’ll be leaving Red Bull at the end of this season and his next destination is something all fans are watching out for.

"We don't know where Adrian Newey is going to go."

"It'd be great to see Adrian Newey work with Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari. It'll be very special for Ferrari, for Italy to have Fred Vasseur, Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Newey. What a combination."

Max Verstappen and Toto Wolff can work well together and maybe Adrian can join them

The Brazilian also feels that Newey could end up joining Mercedes, considering he had conversations with Toto Wolff. He alluded that Max Verstappen has been complaining about the car and maybe that could serve as a prelude to him joining Mercedes as well, considering the chaos at Red Bull.

"He had a lot of conversations with Toto Wolff a few months ago. With Toto losing Lewis, I don't know if Adrien Newey could be a possibility."

"Max is also complaining about the car. I don't know if he wants to justify for the future. But he's already complaining too much."

"In the first segment of the Miami GP, he was three seconds ahead. He opened on the first two laps and then he couldn't open anymore and he complained about the back end of the car at the beginning and at the end of the race."

"I think Max and Toto can work well together, no doubt. Toto is a very professional guy. You have the best in his hands and I'm sure he'll be very motivated and Mercedes, with the experience they have, they can deliver what they promise."

"It could be a possibility for Adrian to be there."

"A lot of things can happen in the next few months in F1."