Italian media outlets have compared Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari to when Cristiano Ronaldo moved from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018.
Hamilton has made the shock decision to join the iconic Italian team next year, leaving Mercedes after this year’s F1 season following 12 years and six world titles at the Silver Arrows.
The story broke in the Italian press early on Thursday morning and the excitement is palpable, with comparisons to Ronaldo’s £88m deal to join Juve six years ago.
Hamilton will, from next year, be cheered on by legions of the famous Ferrari fanbase – the tifosi – across the world, most notably at Imola and Monza.
“It’s like Ferrari have won the championship…not yet!,” said Sky Italy’s Carlo Vanzini.
“We are Italian, this is the way we live and we love this sport. It’s the same situation as when Andrea Agnelli [ex-Juventus chairman] bought Ronaldo for Juventus.
“This is the situation. All people are crazy for that, it doesn’t matter his age – it is not a matter at the moment.”
Ferrari president John Elkann is said to have been instrumental in the deal, having tried to land Hamilton on three previous occasions.
“When we heard about Lewis, it was crazy,” Vanzini added.
“It is a marriage you need to have. We know three times in the last years that John Elkann was close to an agreement. It is a great story for Formula 1, for Ferrari, for Italian fans.”
The move means Carlos Sainz will leave Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season, with Hamilton partnering Charles Leclerc in scarlet red next year.