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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton to revive Mansell moment with Ferrari move

Lewis Hamilton is to follow in the footsteps of another Englishman in Nigel Mansell when he joins Ferrari next year.

Hamilton Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton will have the same galvanising effect on Ferrari that was achieved by another British F1 champion over 30 years ago when he joined the Scuderia.

That is the verdict of Paddy Lowe, who worked alongside Hamilton for a decade at McLaren and Mercedes, playing a role in the 39-year-old winning the first three of his seven world titles.

Hamilton's switch to Ferrari reminds Lowe of what transpired in 1989 when Nigel Mansell joined the Scuderia from Williams, where Lowe was working at the time as joint head of electronics.

The move was a stir, with Mansell taking on iconic status with the Tifosi for his all-or-nothing drives that earned him the nickname 'Il Leone' - The Lion.

"I think he [Hamilton] will bring a lot to the team, and they'll bring a lot to him," said Lowe, who served as engineering director and technical director at McLaren, before moving to Mercedes in 2013 - the same year as Hamilton - as an executive director.

"I congratulate them on hiring him and wish them both well together.

"The last move I remember that was a bit like that was when Nigel dramatically left for Ferrari when I was at Williams.

"He became christened 'Il Leone', and that was a real moment. You remember what a star he was over there. He wrestled that car to some incredible results."

As to whether Ferrari has found its new 'Il Leone' in Hamilton, Lowe added: "I hope so"

Hamilton to lift Ferrari

Lowe was still with Williams when Mansell returned to the team in 1991 after two tough seasons with Ferrari with whom he only won three grands prix.

Lowe, co-founder of Zero, a British technology company that produces clean, carbon-free fuel that is in partnership with the Stake F1 team, feels Hamilton's arrival at Ferrari will again provide a shot in the arm as was the case when Mansell rejoined Williams.

"I remember Nigel coming back, which was also a good moment," said Lowe. "The whole factory lifted 10 feet higher the moment it was announced. I think we may see that effect with Ferrari.

"When you have a driver of Lewis' calibre, an outstanding driver, by all measures, come to work and drive your car - and I tell you this given the effect of Nigel at Williams -  it psychologically boosts the team.

"Lewis, we can't deny, is a phenomenon. On the one hand, you go 'Wow! He is someone who is going to maximise my work, is going to ring the neck of this car. That's as quick as it will be'.

"And on the other, everybody feels that tension of 'I have to deliver against that challenge, that opportunity'. People pull their finger out when they understand they're going to get one of the greatest drivers of all time in their car.

"I think these things work in synergy." 

Also interesting:

In the latest podcast, Ian, Sam and Nick discuss the British GP and Hamilton's emotional return to winning ways. Hamilton's journey since 2021 is discussed, as is Lando Norris' BIGGEST hurdle and Sergio Perez entering the Red Bull danger zone!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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