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“Not the easiest call of my life”: Fred Vasseur admits, replacing Sainz with Hamilton in 2025

Written by Jiya Mahapatra, Edited by Debargha Banerjee

The news that Lewis Hamilton would be replacing Carlos Sainz in Scuderia Ferrari for the 2025 season has shaken up the entire motorsport community. Some fans are excited to see the seven time world champion decked up in the Italian team’s famous red, while others view the decision as being unfair to Sainz.

Either way the decision has left him without a seat for 2025, causing his future in the sport to become a hot topic of speculation. Recently Ferrari’s team principal Fred Vasseur gave his explanation for the decision. 

Lewis Hamilton is set to join Charles Leclerc at Ferrari in 2025; Credits - Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

During an interview at Ferrari’s recent car launch, Vasseur stated, “Regarding Lewis, it’s a huge opportunity for the team, for sure. We’re sure it will bring us a decent step for the future.” The Frenchman then went on to say, “It will be a good challenge for everybody”.

Hamilton has formed a strong relationship with Vasseur through the years, seeing as he won Formula 3 and GP2 (now Formula 2) championships as a driver for Vasseur’s ART team before making his Formula 1 debut. The pair are still close with Vasseur stating, “I talk to him at every grand prix. He raced for me for twenty years, and we are still close”

Hamilton has maintained a strong relationship with Vasseur throughout his racing career; Credits: Sam Cooper, PlanetF1

Ferrari had an underwhelming season in 2023 to say the least, securing their only win at Singapore much to the credit of some masterful defending by Sainz to fend off the Silver Arrows in the dying laps. They managed to finish third in the constructor’s standings, but experienced a lot of disappointment throughout the year, including 7 DNF’s (did not finish).

It is clear that the Scuderia are hungry to get back to their winning ways, and are hoping that Hamilton’s experience and championship-winning skill set will bring them back to world champion status. 

However, a large number of Ferrari’s fans view Vasseur’s decision as unfair to Sainz. The Spaniard was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race in 2023, and consistently scored points throughout the season. It seems as though despite giving some of his best performances last year, it wasn’t enough for the Italian team.

Sainz celebrating his win at the Singapore Grand Prix; Credits: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

When asked about how Sainz took the news, Vasseur responded by saying that “As you can imagine, it was not the easiest call of my life” but that “I’m fully convinced that he is a very professional driver, and that he understands that we have a very long season ahead of us”. 

For now, Ferrari are focused on the 2024 season, and are keen to make Sainz’s last season with the team as memorable as possible. Vasseur concluded the interview by saying,“We are focused on 2024, we want to get the best, we want to win races, continue on the path of 2023 and we won’t be at all thinking about 2025”. 


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