Lewis Hamilton’s move is right

For eight weekends, Ferrari was a constant in the top field in Formula 1 2024. In race number nine, however, the Scuderia suffered a complete failure. Lewis Hamilton can probably be surprised in this regard after the Canadian GP – because while Ferrari missed out, Mercedes appeared in the fight for victory for the first time this season.

In the fast-moving world of Formula 1, this has once again raised doubts about Hamilton’s confirmed move to Maranello in 2025. Motorsport-Magazin.comHowever, expert Christian Danner sees absolutely no reason for this in the ‘AvD Motorsport Magazine’ after a race weekend.

Danner continues to support Hamilton’s change of scenery

Of course, says Danner, it is fair to say that to a certain extent it would have been best for Hamilton if he had stayed at Mercedes. As long as he can improve his form there: “At Mercedes he is still untouched. Even with a very strong George Russell, he is the Lewis who is loved and who gets what he needs and who is listened to.”

At Ferrari, however, Charles Leclerc is a driver who has been established for years, and Hamilton is a complete newcomer, even though he knows team boss Fred Vasseur from junior formula racing. But if you take a step back, the change still makes sense, says Danner: “Sometimes a change of scenery is simply necessary. Sebastian Vettel experienced that. That is something that is simply something that can be granted to a driver who has driven for a team for many years and has been successful there.”

Canada no sign of a Ferrari crisis for Christian Danner

Of course, a change of scenery for such a top driver only makes sense if it is not a step backwards. Just think of Daniel Ricciardo’s attempt to swap Red Bull for Renault. In Canada, Ferrari was defeated by Mercedes. But in the season statistics, it is eight to one – in eight races, the SF-24 was the better car. Danner therefore suspects setup reasons behind the recent misery.

Even though the SF-24 was actually Canada was considered one of the favourites. The car is known to absorb kerbs well, and that is a big help in the chicanes of Montreal. But it’s not just the kerbs that matter there, says Danner: “It’s also about the basic setup. How much downforce do I give the thing so that I can still brake on the one hand and come around the corner, and on the other hand keep the air resistance low on these very long straights.”

In Canada, the rain further complicated the process. In the rain, more downforce makes sense, top speed is less important, and kerbs don’t play such a big role. Somewhere during a very changeable weekend with different weather in every session, Ferrari must have lost its way, concludes Danner: “Because it was already clear that Ferrari has a good all-round car that is great to drive and has such good handling that you can get along pretty well with it anywhere.”

Even more detailed analyses by Christian Danner on Ferrari and the balance of power can be found in the complete issue of the ‘AvD Motorsport Magazine’ here in the video:

Mercedes strikes back! Does Hamilton regret the Ferrari switch? (29:20 min.)

Danner relies on Mercedes chief engineer: This is the breakthrough

Good news for Hamilton’s future, but Danner also has positive things to say about the present. Hamilton still has to finish this year at Mercedes. Despite the small sample size, Danner is cautiously positive about their appearance in Montreal with an F1 W15 that is capable of pole position and victory for the first time after several updates.

“James Allison said they’re seeing through it now,” he said, referring to Mercedes’ experienced chief engineer. “Since I think very highly of James Allison because he’s a very intelligent and good chief engineer, I’ll be the normal Christian, optimist, and say they’re back.” With a pretext: “We won’t really know where we stand with Mercedes until Barcelona.”

But for Danner, the real favorites for the next race in Barcelona are different: “I think Barcelona will be a clear battle between Max Verstappen and the two McLarens.” He still rates the latter as stronger than Ferrari and McLaren in general. How Norris could have won in Canada is explained here in the race analysis:

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