- The Qualifier
- Hamilton Shocks the World 🐎 🏎️
Hamilton Shocks the World 🐎 🏎️
Good afternoon, Qualifiers!
The silliest of seasons is upon us. Well, it actually already started yesterday. And it's almost hard to put into words all the things that are about to go down over the next season.
We also have livery reveals happening. In fact, Haas revealed their livery this morning to very little fanfare, including a curious comment by the new Team Principal, Ayao Komatsu.
While most of the cars won’t be the actual on-track versions, we’ll get a good signal about what brands are signed on and which teams understand the current F1 marketing and sponsorship landscape.
One thing I ask is that if you find this newsletter interesting, would you share it with someone you think would also enjoy it? Thank you 🙏
What may seem like a scene out of F1 Manager (the video game where you can manage an F1 team) has become a reality — Lewis Hamilton will join Scuderia Ferrari from 2025.
The sport’s biggest ambassador, perhaps its greatest champion, will join forces with its biggest, most valuable brand.
Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari in 2025 holds significant allure for both the British driver and the Italian team.
While Hamilton has enjoyed immense success with Mercedes, it’s been anything but smooth sailing since the dramatic 2021 finish. Additionally, his multi-year contract had break clauses, allowing for unexpected shifts.
The prospect of joining Ferrari, a team with a storied history and a unique romantic pull, adds a compelling narrative to Hamilton's career. Ferrari's recent stability, close competition with Mercedes, and development over the 2023 season make it an appealing choice. As Hamilton approaches 40 and the final year of current regulations, the move positions him to influence the upcoming transition in 2026.
With nothing left to prove in F1, the shift to Ferrari offers Hamilton a chance to pen a captivating final chapter, potentially securing another championship and competing against Charles Leclerc in a blockbuster pairing. The move also resonates with historical parallels, mirroring Michael Schumacher's quest to end Ferrari's championship drought.
An actual screen grab from my F1 Manager simulation in October 2022
Elkann Gets His Guy
Ferrari's executive chairman, John Elkann, is said to have played a pivotal role in orchestrating the extraordinary move to bring Lewis Hamilton to Maranello.
Sky Sports reports that Elkann engaged in months of behind-the-scenes efforts and strategic approaches, ultimately leading to the shocking revelation on Thursday.
Elkann's persistent efforts were driven by the recognition of a tremendous opportunity to align Formula 1's most decorated driver with Ferrari, the sport's most successful team. In breaking the seemingly unyielding and decade-long bond between Hamilton and Mercedes, Elkann's determination and maneuvering showcased his commitment to realizing the ambitious and headline-grabbing transfer.
Lewis is reported to earn $100 million per year at Ferrari, and Elkann will also ensure that Hamilton’s diversity and inclusion projects are embraced.
A Good Day in Maranello
As big as the Hamilton news was for the Formula 1 world, it wasn’t even supposed to be the biggest news of the day for Ferrari.
On Thursday, Ferrari reported that it had exceeded Wall Street's earnings expectations in Q4 2023, concluding a record-profit year.
The company posted a net profit of €1.26 billion ($1.36 billion) for 2023, including €294 million ($317.9 million) in the last quarter. Annual adjusted EBIT reached €1.62 billion ($1.75 billion), with Q4 contributing €372 million ($402.3 million), both marking yearly records.
Ferrari's 2023 revenue rose 17% to €5.97 billion ($6.46 billion), with a fourth-quarter 11% increase from 2022. Forecasts for 2024 anticipate surpassing these results, expecting revenue over €6.4 billion ($6.9 billion), an adjusted EPS of at least €7.50, and an adjusted EBIT margin of at least 38%. Ferrari's stock hit a 52-week high, reaching nearly $390 a share on the NYSE.
Ferrari $RACE adds $10B in market cap on strong earnings news AND addition of the GOAT, Lewis Hamilton to the F1 team.
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino)
Feb 1, 2024
Formula One has officially rejected the joint bid from Andretti and Cadillac to enter the championship in 2025 or 2026 but has left the possibility open for a potential entry in 2028.
The bid, formed through a technical partnership, received FIA's technical approval last year. F1's decision cited the lack of immediate value and doubted the competitiveness of the proposed team.
Under the Cadillac brand, General Motors aimed to enter F1 as an engine manufacturer starting in 2028. Despite the setback, Andretti remains committed, expressing disagreement with F1's decision and emphasizing progress in developing a competitive car and power unit.
It’s difficult to fathom that an entrant with this pedigree got rejected from joining the series:
F1 World Driver Champion
12 wins, 20 podiums
9x IndyCar Champions
6 Indy 500 wins
4 IndyNXT titles
Daytona 500 win
24 Hours of Le Mans win
Sebring 12 Hours win
Formula E title
73 Supercars wins
6 Supercars drivers titles
5 Supercars team titles
According to F1, the Andretti application won’t provide enough value to the series.
Application rejected. ❌
This is beyond ridiculous.
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino)
Jan 31, 2024
The conspiracy theory is that the Hamilton to Ferrari news was leaked by F1 to bury the Andretti rejection news. I can’t say I’m not one of those that believe it.
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