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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton must 'embed himself' at Ferrari like Schumacher – Brundle

Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle is convinced Lewis Hamilton needs to spend time in Italy as soon as he switches to Ferrari.

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To be a success at Ferrari and have the same impact that fellow seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher had, ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle believes Lewis Hamilton needs to "embed himself" in Italy amongst the historic side.

Hamilton will depart Mercedes at the end of the upcoming 2024 season, ending a relationship with the German manufacturer which started when he was just 13 years old. The 39-year-old announced his 2025 move to Ferrari at the beginning of February, with him having signed a multi-year deal to partner Charles Leclerc.

Having been at Mercedes since 2013, switching to Ferrari is a bold decision by the 103-time race winner, who has never raced for an F1 team based outside of the United Kingdom. As well as that, the main language used by Ferrari is obviously not English, meaning Hamilton might need to study some Italian.

To ensure a smooth transition to the Scuderia, Brundle is confident that Hamilton would like to take some Mercedes employees with him, something a non-compete clause is likely to block. Brundle explained what the Briton will be taking to Ferrari with him and what he'd perhaps like to take to Maranello.

"Processes, philosophies, how the car works, what he likes, where he likes to sit and what he needs from a car to maximise his talents," Brundle explained on the Sky F1 podcast.

"And then he's got to integrate. And it's hard, because I don't think he'll speak the language, he certainly won't speak the language and know the team like Charles Leclerc does. So you've got to go and find out where all the buttons are to press. And that's why I think Lewis will want to try to take a few people with him.

"But there'll be non-compete clauses where he can't really do that. But you really want to take some of your own gang with you when you go so that you can hit the ground running. But I think he'll have such respect there anyway, that if Lewis says, I want the back wheels put on the front, they'll go straight to work."

Embracing culture important

Life at Ferrari is like no other for an F1 driver and will be a completely different environment for Hamilton. Settling into the team won't be easy despite the respect Ferrari will automatically have for him. Brundle is convinced that it's still required for a driver to embrace the Ferrari culture, like Schumacher did, to be a success in red.

"I think it's still the case," admitted Brundle. "How could this go for Lewis? You could do a Michael Schumacher and turn them into champions again. Or he could do a Fernando Alonso and a Sebastian Vettel where it's kind of a bit of a near miss, but look pretty good on occasions.

"And just look at what Schumacher did, the Schumacher piazza we've been in and filmed, where Schumacher had his gym, where he stayed overnight when he was always embedded in Fiorano, in the factory like Leclerc and Sainz have done.

"I think if Lewis really wants to get a fast start in what's a completely different team to the seven British-based teams, over there in Italy, I think he'll have to go and embed himself in it."

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