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ETHERINGTON

A shock move made from the heart rather than the head?

It’s a week since the news broke of the biggest driver move in Formula 1 history, but it still seems incredible. Rumours of Lewis Hamilton going to Ferrari have circulated on and off for years, but it seemed unlikely Hamilton would give up such a good Mercedes gig.

Being brutal, the move is not logical. Mercedes would surely be more likely to give Hamilton the chance of an eighth world crown than Ferrari, which hasn’t taken a title since 2008. Recent designs have been tricky to drive and Charles Leclerc is arguably the fastest driver in the field over a single lap. An easy ride it will not be.

But there’s no denying the romance surrounding Ferrari. Most, if not all, drivers want to race for the famous Italian team. And many believe that Hamilton’s hero, Ayrton Senna, would have ended up there following his stint at Williams. The fact that Hamilton’s old mate Fred Vasseur is team boss must also have been a factor.

Given the strength of Red Bull at the moment (despite internal tensions, see p6) and Ferrari’s drought, a Hamilton title in red seems unlikely. But, after Hamilton took his seventh crown in 2020, we asked what he could possibly do to add to his status and legacy as one of the greats and there was only one answer. If he was to take an eighth title for a third team – one at which Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel failed to get the ultimate prize (p30) – against an entire generation of young hotshoes, it would be one of the most remarkable feats in motorsport history. And fine reward for a brave move that has supercharged F1.

Kevin Turner Chief Editor kevin.turner@autosport.com

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Cover image (composite image) Etherington/S Bloxham/Motorsport Images; Mercedes-Benz AG

PIT & PADDOCK 4 F1 rejects revered Andretti name 6 Horner Red Bull future under threat 8 Peugeot to run ‘wingless’ in Qatar 10 Watson switches to BTCC Toyota 12 F1 2024 launches: Williams 14 Sauber C44 technical analysis 16 F1 2024 launches: Haas 19 Opinion: Alex Kalinauckas 21 Opinion: Marcus Simmons 23 Feedback: your letters

FEATURES 24 Hamilton to Ferrari: how and why 30 Other big-name moves to Ferrari 34 Button on his latest challenge 38 Ilott steps into the WEC limelight 42 Blomqvist’s IndyCar chance 46 The ‘fastest woman in the world’?

RACE CENTRE 51 World of Sport: Asian Le Mans Series;

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CLUB AUTOSPORT 59 Collards join forces for British GT attack 60 Zamparelli to enter team in Carrera Cup 62 Caterham to run race for friends/family 65 Debate: raw speed or consistency? 66 40 years of Sports/Saloons success

FINISHING STRAIGHT 70 What’s on this week 72 From the archive: 2002 Italian GP 74 My favourite car: Christian Klien

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