Lewis Hamilton’s 2025 Ferrari Transfer and Trend Influence


In System 1, there’s no larger title than Lewis Hamilton. In some ways, Hamilton transcends the game itself as an enormous public determine in his personal proper. Hamilton is the game’s first and solely Black driver — presently tied with Michael Schumacher for seven-time world driver championships (WDC) — and boasts the file for probably the most wins and podium finishes (amongst numerous others).

Off-the-track, Hamilton is a daily front-row fixture at trend week, host for a Met Gala desk to highlight Black trend leaders, proprietor of the clothes line +44 (Hamilton’s favored racing quantity) and nonalcoholic beverage firm Almave, opened charitable STEM basis Mission 44, serves as govt producer of the upcoming System 1 movie starring Brad Pitt and Damson Idris and rather more.   

Unsurprisingly, the sporting world at giant was shocked when Hamilton introduced (coincidentally, on the primary day of Black Historical past Month) that he could be leaving Mercedes-AMG Petronas, his beloved group after a decade, to affix Scuderia Ferrari, a group equal to faith in Italy for the 2025 season and past.

The transfer despatched Hamilton followers and business insiders alike right into a tizzy; Ferrari’s social media account gained tons of of hundreds of followers and Ferrari’s share costs soared greater than 10 p.c and the corporate’s worth rose to $10 billion on the inventory market (in tangent with a powerful earnings experiences of 17 p.c elevated income for 2023 by Ferrari, launched on the identical day).

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13:  Lewis Hamilton with (L-R) US Olympian Miles Chamley-Watson, US designer Kenneth Nicholson, Lewis Hamilton, US designer Law Roach, Kehlani, stylist Jason Rembert, US athlete Sha'Carri Richardson, Theophilio designer Edvin Thompson and model Alton Mason  attend The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

On the 2021 Met Gala, Miles Chamley-Watson, Kenneth Nicholson, Lewis Hamilton, Legislation Roach, Kehlani, Jason Rembert, Sha’Carri Richardson, Edvin Thompson and Alton Mason.

Getty Photographs

Representatives for Ferrari declined to touch upon Lewis Hamilton till the top of the 2024 season, “out of respect for all events, groups and drivers concerned.”  

A number of motorsport insiders advised WWD that they had been concurrently shocked and intrigued by the transfer; Hamilton made an analogous transfer (seen as a chance on the time) when he left McLaren in 2013 for Mercedes — the place Hamilton was anticipated to finish his profession. Hamilton is in search of his eighth WDC and to indisputably turn out to be the very best in System 1.

Luke Smith, senior author at The Athletic, stated this transfer doesn’t evaluate to every other in his decade-long motorsport reporting profession. “There’s no larger driver in System 1 than Hamilton, and no larger group in System 1 than Ferrari. Ferrari has all the time been probably the most well-known group in System 1 with a level of status, historical past and exclusivity no different group will get near matching. This may solely escalate as soon as Hamilton joins the group.”

Lily Herman, creator of the favored System 1 tradition publication Engine Failure, famous that within the wake of two years of largely common pleasure within the race for the WDC title and the overarching dominance of Max Verstappen and Purple Bull, this transfer might be the shakeup the game wants. Particularly as the game has seemed to broaden its attain — particularly within the U.S. — and has developed to “participating followers in each different a part of System 1 — together with points of the game’s broader tradition, like trend, social impression, standard media and extra.”

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 15: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park on November 15, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton profitable his seventh World Drivers Champion in 2020 on the Turkish Grand Prix.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Photographs

In the meantime, Abby Rakshit, technique guide for Fortune 500 tech and auto corporations and founding father of Racing Forces Media, a thought management artistic platform for and by girls in sports activities, akins the transfer to historic sports activities offers comparable to Michael Jordan and Nike or David Beckham shifting to LA Galaxy.

One massive query that is still on numerous minds: What does this transfer to Ferrari imply? As somebody deeply intertwined with the style business, Hamilton’s sartorial decisions, styled by business darling Eric McNeal (and beforehand, picture architect Legislation Roach), are the discuss of the paddock — with Instagram accounts comparable to Rashi Gaur’s @hamazinglew devoted to decoding excessive trend decisions from Valentino to Louis Vuitton.

“Lewis has one of many strongest private manufacturers of any public determine worldwide — throughout any business, not simply sports activities,” explains Herman. “A number of drivers [such as Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu, Alex Albon and future teammate, Charles Leclerc] have already pointed to Lewis Hamilton elevating the bar so far as how drivers can turn out to be societal tastemakers and cultural icons.”

With greater than half of the grid together with Fernando Alonso’s and Daniel Ricciardo’s contracts up after the 2024 season and Audi lately confirmed retain one hundred pc possession of Sauber’s group in 2026, this transformation spells an enormous shakeup in System 1 trend and sponsorship area.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally retouched) As Formula 1 returns to the grid for the 2024 season the drivers assemble at pre-season testing in Bahrain. (L-R) Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari, Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Haas F1, Lance Stroll of Canada and Aston Martin F1 Team, Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing, Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Visa Cash App RB, Logan Sargeant of United States and Williams, Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari, Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and Haas F1, Pierre Gasly of France and Alpine F1, Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1 Team, Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes, Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren, Oscar Piastri of Australia and McLaren, George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes, Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB, Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing, Zhou Guanyu of China and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, Alexander Albon of Thailand and Williams and Esteban Ocon of France and Alpine F1 pose for a photo prior to F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 21, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Adam Pretty - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

After the 2024 System 1 season, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Logan Sargent, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen will probably be trying to retain their seat or search out a brand new group.

System 1 by way of Getty Photographs

India Roby, freelance trend and System 1 author, stated Hamilton’s transfer significantly impacts different drivers’ success — and who’ve all began leaning towards turning into celebrities, by way of model ambassadorships or beginning their very own merchandise line — and with the stress to turn out to be extra of a public determine in their very own proper, as Lewis at Ferrari will stay heart stage for the foreseeable future.

“Much like Lewis, groups will probably be serious about what these particular person drivers supply to the general racing model versus solely outcomes on the observe,” Roby famous. “On the finish of the day, drivers want to offer groups with worth and entice cash and sponsors, and meaning having a ‘face.’”

Sponsorships are crucial for racing groups to fund their operations throughout analysis, personnel, logistics, advertising and amenities — with no less than 100 individuals along with the 2 most important drivers and reserve drivers touring to greater than 20 races in all 4 corners of the globe with firm and manufacturing facility numbers ranging upward of 300 to 1,200 individuals. Estimates put larger title groups comparable to Mercedes, McLaren, Purple Bull and Ferrari spending about $400 million per 12 months.

James Vowels, group principal at Williams Racing, defined throughout their automotive launch on the Fifth Avenue Puma retailer in early February the significance of those partnerships to his group. “The primary telephone name I made once I joined the group was to Puma. I actually like what they stand for as a model and I wore their trainers for a few years. The sponsors we’re working with have that means to us and to the world as effectively.”

When System 1 drivers transfer groups, it’s not all the time set in stone that sponsors will observe swimsuit — particularly as Ferrari carries its heavy weight of luxurious model sponsorsGiorgio ArmaniRay-Ban, Richard Mille and Ferrari Model.

“Naturally, Hamilton brings curiosity from manufacturers within the U.Okay.,” explains Rakshit. “Ferrari hasn’t had a title sponsor shortly, however I wouldn’t be shocked if a giant tech or finance firm aligns with Ferrari shifting ahead. Title sponsors traditionally prices $50 million to $100 million a 12 months. Will probably be a lot simpler for Ferrari to get sponsorship conversations inside that vary with Hamilton now.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Grace Wales Bonner and Lewis Hamilton attend The Fashion Awards 2023 presented by Pandora at the Royal Albert Hall on December 04, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Grace Wales Bonner and Lewis Hamilton attend The Trend Awards 2023 in London.

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Photographs

Chris Medland, System 1 journalist and broadcaster, concurs that finances constraints have usually left manufacturers deciding which of the 2 names synonymous with the game to select from: Hamilton or Ferrari. And now, manufacturers don’t must weigh their choices; Medland observes that model repute and historical past in sport imply every little thing — particularly because the attract of Ferrari is highly effective sufficient to draw the game’s most profitable driver, regardless of not the group not profitable a champion title since 2008.

Notably, throughout Hamilton’s championship-winning streak, Tommy Hilfiger reentered the area in 2018 as a sponsor of Mercedes. The eponymous model beforehand labored with Hamilton’s future group, Ferrari, in a four-year attire partnership from 1998-2002.

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 16: Lewis Hamilton and the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger pose during the Fall 2019 Tommy x Lewis Milan presentation during the Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 on September 16, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images for Tommy Hilfiger)

Lewis Hamilton and Tommy Hilfiger on the Tommy x Lewis Spring 2020 presentation throughout Milan Trend Week.

Jacopo Raule/Getty Photographs for Tommy Hilfiger

The model chosen Hamilton to be an envoy and design a number of capsule collections, which set a significant precedent inside the business’s intersection. Mercedes’ watch sponsor since 2013, IWC Schaffhausen, has additionally collaboratively designed limited-edition watches with the champion.

IWC issued an announcement to Instagram thanking Hamilton, an indicator that the 2 will probably be parting methods subsequent 12 months: “We want to thank Lewis for his excellent contribution as a model ambassador and member of the worldwide IWC Schaffhausen household.…We sit up for one other thrilling season collectively. For his future endeavors, on and off the racetrack, we want Lewis all the very best.”

After reentering the motorsports world as a associate to Mercedes in 2018, Hilfiger has seen the rise in recognition between trend, motorsport and leisure. “The world of racing is growing at an unbelievable tempo, and we’re excited to be on the forefront in our persevering with partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas System 1 Group,” Hilfiger advised WWD. “We’re excited to speed up on this legacy into the 2024-25 season.”

Whereas plans for the model’s future with Hamilton stay underneath wraps, the model has continued to double down on its Mercedes ties. The corporate named each Mercedes driver, George Russell, and his long-term girlfriend, Carmen Montero Mundt, ambassadors final 12 months. WAG tradition and energy {couples} have been a significant half of popular culture; curiosity in Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce and Victoria Beckham and David Beckham has by no means been greater.

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 27: George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Carmen Montero Mundt arrives at the track during the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Park Zandvoort on August 27, 2023 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)

George Russell and Carmen Montero Mundt carrying Tommy Hilfiger on the Dutch Grand Prix in 2023.

Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Photographs

Mercedes reserve driver and Alpine’s FIA World Endurance Championship driver, Mick Schumacher, son of Michael Schumacher, was equally named an envoy in 2023 — F1 Academy driver Nerea Martí, Mundt, Schumacher, and Schumacher’s girlfriend and social media influencer Laila Hasanovic had been all lately in attendance at Tommy Hilfiger’s fall winter 2024 present at NYFW.

Over time, Hamilton helped flip the paddock right into a model of the crimson carpet, much like the NBA and NFL tunnels. Hilfiger stated the corporate will proceed to discover this crossover inside the trend and leisure area; the model is a associate to the upcoming System 1 characteristic movie starring Tommy Hilfiger menswear ambassador, Damson Idris.

As for what’s subsequent on the horizon for Hamilton? Joshua Robinson, European sports activities reporter at The Wall Road Journal and coauthor of the novel, “The System: How Rogues, Geniuses and Pace Freaks Reengineered F1 Into the World’s Quickest-Rising Sport,” foresees Hamilton’s title and picture on high of “an already timeless model like Ferrari” will result in “unprecedented attain for a System 1 driver.” Furthermore, Robinson notes that the mix of Hamilton and Ferrari will equate to a “compelling package deal” for brand new and returning sponsors as they each “characterize the head of the game.”

The “Lewis Hamilton impact” is an indicator of the quickly altering tides in sponsorship area and what it means to be a System 1 driver at the moment. Medland explains, “Lewis is taking a look at life after System 1 in addition to his racing profession and won’t have moved to Ferrari if it restricted him from tackling the opposite tasks he already does. For a very long time now, Lewis has proven he performs at his finest when he’s allowed to dedicate time and vitality to his different enterprise and trend ventures too — and that has already helped different drivers get the chance to do related.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 17: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team arrives at the track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas at  on November 17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Song Haiyuan/MB Media/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton carrying a customized look by Bottega Veneta.

Track Haiyuan/MB Media/Getty Photographs

Rakshit factors to the rumors of a joint funding fund arrange by Ferrari’s mother or father firm Exor N.V. with a $250 million contribution to behave as “Hamilton’s private personal fairness or enterprise capital agency to speculate as he sees match.” If confirmed true, the transfer could be a a lot larger scale feat than current information of Tiger Woods’ possession stake and partnership in his namesake-branded TaylorMade golf attire.

Furthermore, Rakshit predicts that plans for a Ferrari with a Hamilton moniker or affiliation, much like the McLaren sports activities automotive named after Brazilian System 1 racer Ayrton Senna, will hit the market inside the subsequent couple of years of Ferrari’s automobile developments. In spite of everything, Hamilton famously stored Ferraris in his assortment, even whereas he was driving for Mercedes.

Likewise, Tim Malachard, advertising director at Richard Mille, advised WWD that Hamilton transcends System 1 as being a multiworld profitable champion within the sport. In becoming a member of Ferrari, Malachard anticipates deeper involvement from Hamilton within the Italian trend scene as main homes get able to roll out the crimson carpet for him.

“Drivers are adopted by hundreds of thousands on social media and might’t simply depend upon their performances at Grand Prix races,” Malachard stated. “Followers observe their lives every day. All groups and sponsors at the moment are very delicate to the picture portrayed by every driver.”

Europe, Italy, Maranello, 25.04.2023 Richard Mille X Ferrari shoot with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz for a 2023 Richard Mille x Ferrari shoot in Maranello, Italy.

Rafael Heygster

Smith has additionally seen how the panorama of System 1 followers has modified over time. “We’re more and more in an period the place followers — particularly the youthful followers flocking to the game — observe drivers and personalities, not essentially groups. It’ll be curious to see how followers react to their loyalties being examined.” To that finish, firms may also be rather more conscious of how you can correctly craft their offers to make sure they get the very best driver and/or group that aligns with their model identification.

Like Hilfiger and IWC with Hamilton, the model relationships drivers hold can usually run deep. Richard Mille has sponsored Leclerc since his go-karting days greater than 10 years in the past and sees him as part of their household; Sainz has additionally been a Richard Mille watch wearer since his time at McLaren.

Whereas Richard Mille executives have but to satisfy with Hamilton, the formal announcement between the unique Swiss watchmakers and Hamilton is inevitable. Malachard stated that whereas it’s too early to touch upon the state of ambassador contracts after this season finishes, they famous that they may proceed to stay involved with Sainz.

“Lewis is a famous person in each method and intensely delicate to creativity in trend and way of life,” Malachard stated. “We sit up for assembly with him and that he’ll take pleasure in becoming a member of our household of companions. We’re certain many artistic concepts will emerge from speaking to one another.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari in limited-edition Ray-Ban glasses to mark the team's 75th anniversary at Monza.

Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc for a 2022 Ferrari x Ray Ban limited-edition glasses to commemorate the group’s seventy fifth anniversary in Monza, Italy.

@CALLOALBANESE

Equally, Ray Ban representatives advised WWD that as a part of its devoted partnership with Ferrari and “[they] would welcome the chance to work with Lewis.” The sunglass firm additionally isn’t counting out additional sponsorships down the road with Sainz simply but, including that they “welcome all alternatives to assist [the] historic model.”

“Lewis is the quintessential Twenty first-century sports activities star — who crosses over simply into different worlds — from tradition to trend to music,” Robinson stated. “In the meantime, Ferrari actually [represents] racing heritage. Sponsors will see a lot to love with Ferrari and Lewis complementing one another’s photographs. By bringing some much-needed range and outspokenness to the group, Lewis offers Ferrari a contemporary edge that it hasn’t all the time had.”

Representatives for Lewis Hamilton declined to touch upon this story and referred WWD to his assertion on Instagram: “The time has come for me to start out a brand new chapter in my life, and I will probably be becoming a member of Scuderia Ferrari in 2025.…I now have the possibility to fulfil [sic] one other childhood dream. Driving in Ferrari crimson.” 

For Extra WWD System 1 Information

Rokt Goes Racing With Purple Bull’s F1 Academy Driver Hamda Al Qubaisi

Reiss, McLaren Collaboration: For On and Off the System 1 Racetrack 

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