Ferrari president breaks his silence over Lewis Hamilton’s bombshell move to Maranello and reveals why Briton believes he ‘can do great things’ despite the dominance of troubled Red Bull

Ferrari president John Elkann believes Lewis Hamilton‘s decision to sign with the Italian marque is testament to his faith in the team’s chances of ending Red Bull’s dominance.

The Briton will join the Scuderia next year after 12 seasons with Mercedes as he continues to chase a record eighth world title.

The bombshell move came less than a year after Hamilton denied talks with Ferrari over a huge £40million deal and instead signed a two-year extension with the Silver Arrows worth a combined £100m.

The 39-year-old had previously expressed his desire to remain with Mercedes – where he has won six of his seven world championships – for the remainder of his career.

But Ferrari stepped up their efforts to tempt him across to Maranello, after Hamilton expressed frustration in recent seasons over under-performing by Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari next year after 12 seasons at Mercedes

The Briton will join forces with Charles Leclerc (left) at the Italian marque

Ferrari chairman John Elkann is hopeful Hamilton’s arrival can deliver a first title in 16 years

Elkann has long been an admirer of the Briton and played a major role in getting the deal over the line by personally speaking to Hamilton.

‘I have always said over the years how much Lewis is a great driver, how much he has done for Formula One,’ the Ferrari boss told Sky Sports in Italy.

‘He will join Ferrari and this is a sign of how much he believes he can do great things with us.’

Hamilton is statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen, leading Formula One’s all-time rankings in terms of race wins and pole positions.

READ MORE Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari have always felt destined for each other… and after flirting for 10 years the Briton will finally realise his family’s dream to follow Michael Schumacher’s path to F1’s most iconic team

His seven world titles are equalled only by Michael Schumacher, who won five consecutive titles with Ferrari.

But over the past two years Red Bull’s stranglehold on Formula One has been such that Hamilton hasn’t finished on top of the podium since the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.

Ferrari haven’t won the drivers’ championship since 2007 and their last constructors’ crown dates back to the following year, incidentally when Hamilton pipped Felipe Massa to the title on the final corner of the last race of the season in Brazil.

But Elkann suggested a power shift in Formula One could be on the cards with new regulations are set to come into place in 2026.

‘By 2026 a cycle will close, then another will open,’ the Ferrari president said.

‘The important thing will be to always be competitive and continue to fuel this spirit.’

Max Verstappen has claimed pole and won the first two races of the season, with team-mate Sergio Perez coming second on both occasions.

Ferrari have finished third twice, with Carlos Sainz third in Bahrain and Charles Leclerc in Saudi Arabia, results which Elkann believes bode well for the remainder of the campaign.

‘If we look at where we were a year ago, we started better,’ he said.

‘The important thing is to improve and progress. This is the dynamic that exists in Ferrari and it should be praised and supported.

‘There is a desire to ensure that we bring the Ferrari to do the best possible and this was palpable today. This, I mean, from everyone.’

Hamilton was full of praise for Oliver Bearman (right) after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Bearman finished seventh on his Formula One debut in Jeddah ahead of Hamilton

With Sainz out of the Saudi Grand Prix due to appendicitis, Ferrari drafted in Oliver Bearman as last-minute replacement.

The 18-year-old Briton finished seventh on his race debut after qualifying 11th and was hailed as a ‘future star’ by Hamilton, who warmly embraced him at the end of the race.

‘If one thinks he [Bearman] can stay ahead of Hamilton and Lando Norris on his debut, I think Oliver will remember this for his whole life,’ Elkann said.

‘The hug that Lewis wanted to give him shows what a great champion he is on and off the track.’

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