Hamilton & Ferrari | Man vs AI: Predictions for Dream Team match-up
Man vs AI: Predicting results for the partnership made in F1 heaven.
One of the biggest surprises of all time in Formula 1 came last week when it was announced that Lewis Hamilton would be racing for Ferrari from 2025.
The shock move has caused chaos all over the sport, with pundits and fans alike speculating and dreaming up what this partnership could hold.
And that’s exactly what we’re doing here, but with a twist, as we pit man vs AI to give our predictions on where the pair might find the most success. Here are our Hamilton & Ferrari: Man vs AI predictions.
Fitting factors for success
Take it away, AI!
To determine which races Lewis Hamilton might have the best chance of winning when he begins racing for Ferrari, we can consider his historical strengths and preferences, along with the typical characteristics of Ferrari’s recent Formula 1 cars.
Here are some key factors to consider:
Hamilton has historically excelled at high-speed circuits where driver skill in fast corners can make a significant difference. Ferrari, traditionally known for their strong engine performance, could potentially enhance his chances at these tracks.
I absolutely agree with this. Monza is the first track that comes to mind, a circuit that Ferrari circles on their calendar each year to do well at in front of the faithful Tifosi.
Hamilton also enjoys this circuit, sharing the record with Michael Schumacher for most wins there with five. I reckon he’ll have a great chance at victory in 2025, and if he does, expect the scenes to be legendary.
Tracks like the Hungaroring and Silverstone require strong car control and agility due to their numerous tight corners and low average speeds, something that Hamilton is very capable of handling.
Great examples for circuits, Hamilton excels at them both. The Ferrari struggled somewhat with high-downforce tracks in the past season but was much better in that department in the 2022 season when they were closer challengers to Red Bull.
With the Maranello team supposedly coming with a completely rebuilt package for the 2024 season, I can imagine that for the last year of these technical regulations in 2025, they will have worked out the best car to suit them downforce-wise, and more specifically, one that Hamilton will enjoy driving.
Hamilton is known for his exceptional skill in wet conditions. Races with variable weather conditions, such as the Belgian or British Grand Prix, could play to his strengths, especially if the Ferrari car has good balance and grip in the wet.
Yes, but also no. Or at least, not anymore.
No driver is better than Ayrton Senna was in the rain, but statistically, Lewis is one of the closest to him.
I want to dive into this one.
Senna was known as ‘Rain Master’, so it should come as no surprise that while he only won 25.3% of his races, 55.5% of those wins came in the rain. He won 10 of his 18 wet races, proving his aptitude for the wet conditions.
Next is Schumacher, who has the most wet race wins with 16 but from 44 races, giving him a 36.3% win rate.
Hamilton is close behind with a 34.2% win rate, having won 13 from 38 races.
Lewis Hamilton during a wet Korean Grand Prix in 2011.
These statistics were found from a Reddit post from August/September 2023 but backed up by a post from GP Blog in January 2023. In this case, a race only qualified as wet weather if wet tyres were quicker than dry tyres for at least 10% of the race. Also no Belgium 2021 because of course not, don’t be ridiculous.
So Hamilton is very adept in the rain as it shows so you can agree with that statement made by the AI.
However, I don’t fully agree with it, as in recent years, Hamilton has not been at his best. It could be an age thing, not being as strong as he once was, but more likely it is the fact that he hasn’t felt comfortable in his car the last two seasons and as such has not been able to get the most out of it in really any conditions, let alone in the wet.
Plus, let’s not forget about the real best wet weather driver on the grid currently - Max Verstappen.
Ever since his incredible feats at the 2016 Brazilian GP, he has shown a remarkable prowess for driving in damp or wet conditions.
As such, he has (at the time of the Reddit post) a 35.2% win ratio in the wet, with six wins from 17 races.
There is also the issue of the Ferrari not being overly great at adapting to changing track conditions in the 2023 season and their poor strategic decision-making even at the best of times, let alone when adverse weather conditions are involved.
Should the Ferrari be challenging the Red Bull in 2025, it will be extremely interesting to see who will come out on top in any wet races between Lewis and Max. But if I’m honest, I may just have to give the nod to the Dutchman.
Races where tyre management is crucial might also be advantageous if Ferrari’s car is gentle on tyres, complementing Hamilton’s known ability to manage tyres effectively over a race distance.
Considering these factors, races at high-speed circuits, street circuits, venues with unpredictable weather, and tracks where Hamilton has historically excelled could potentially offer him the best chances of winning with Ferrari.
However, it’s important to note that Formula 1 is highly unpredictable, and variables like car development, team strategy, and competition play significant roles in race outcomes.
Yeah, pretty much what it said.
At his best with Mercedes, Hamilton was notorious for being able to make his tyres last longer than they theoretically should. It’s been harder for him to do so over the last two seasons as the Merc has had to be set up in a way that encourages tyre wear so he was too often unable to implement his tyre management ability into his race strategy.
The Ferrari has also struggled with excessive tyre wear over the last two seasons. Should the Ferrari car be accommodating for this when Hamilton steps into the car in ‘25, we could definitely see the prime tyre management Hammy back again.
But the AI also rightfully points out that F1 is highly unpredictable and that variables such as team strategy can and will come into play.
I’m not sure if the AI is sentient and knows of the jokes about Ferrari’s questionable strategy team or not, but it certainly is spot on with that.
Ferrari has a track record in recent times of bumbling strategies and terrible communication from the pit wall. If Hamilton wants to eliminate that, he’ll need to bring over as many personnel as possible - especially his race engineer, Peter “Bono” Bonnington.
The last thing I’ll say about other factors affecting results is that the Ferrari has been very good with one-lap pace in the last few seasons but has struggled with race pace.
Unless they sort that out, Hamilton may find a big problem there. While he is one of the best qualifying drivers of all time by far, holding the record for most poles with 104 (Schumacher in second with 68), if the Ferrari still has troubles with their race pace in 2025, there is only so much the seven-time World Champion would be able to do.
Personal Favoritism and Track Record
Now we’ve looked at the factors involved that could lead to their success, let’s take a look at some circuits that the AI thinks may lead to race wins for Hamilton and Ferrari.
Based on Lewis Hamilton’s historical strengths and performance, along with the typical characteristics of Ferrari’s Formula 1 cars, we can identify specific races where Hamilton might have a stronger chance of winning with Ferrari.
Here’s a list considering his skill set and the nature of these circuits:
British Grand Prix (Silverstone)
Hamilton has an exceptional record at Silverstone, with multiple wins. His familiarity and success at this high-speed circuit could play to his advantage.
It’s already been mentioned earlier but I completely agree with this one. With eight wins at Silverstone, a British GP record, Hamilton is the master of this race.
Ferrari is also fairly adept at the circuit. They have 15 all-time wins at Silverstone but have only won twice in the last 10 years.
They did win with Carlos Sainz in 2022 but their race 2023 race was terrible, finishing 9th and 10th. While they were unlucky in some regards, they weren’t really challenging at any point, so they will need to sort that out this year before Hamilton comes over for ‘25.
Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring)
Hamilton has performed well at the Hungaroring, a track requiring high downforce and precision.
Ditto my comments about Lewis from the British Grand Prix. Another race record eight wins at the Hungaroring, he put that tragically bad Mercedes on pole there last season.
While Ferrari isn’t amazing at the Hungaroring, they aren’t exactly bad there either. Hamilton coming along could give them their first win there since Sebastian Vettel in 2017.
Italian Grand Prix (Monza)
Credit: Monza Italian Grand Prix 2019 | Race in Brief Highlights (Sky Sports F1, Youtube)
Given Ferrari’s historically strong performance at their home circuit and Hamilton’s success at high-speed tracks, this race could be a strong opportunity.
Not a strong opportunity, AI. I’m calling a dead certain win at the 2025 Italian Grand Prix. Hamilton’s first race in front of the Tifosi (if you don’t count Imola).
Canadian Grand Prix (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve)
Known for his strong performances in Canada, Hamilton’s ability to navigate this semi-street circuit with its mix of high-speed sections and tight chicanes could be beneficial.
Once again, the race record of seven wins in Montreal (joint with Schumacher this time though) including his first F1 win there in 2007.
Ferrari is also the second most successful team of all time at the Canadian Grand Prix with 12 wins (Wikipedia will tell you different but I’m not counting those first two wins as they weren’t part of the F1 World Championship those years).
United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas)
Another circuit where Hamilton has enjoyed significant success, featuring a mix of high-speed and technical sections.
Guess what? Another track Hamilton holds the record at. Six wins in the United States GP, five of which at COTA and four straight from 2014-2017.
Ferrari though has only won once at COTA since it was introduced but does perform reasonably well there each year.
While not a guaranteed win, a podium should be more than attainable.
Singapore Grand Prix (Marina Bay Street Circuit)
Hamilton’s track record on street circuits and his ability to perform in physically demanding conditions could play well at this night race.
Indeed, Hamilton is strong in Singapore. A case could be made that he could’ve won there last season if his teammate George Russell had gotten out the way sooner (not that he did so on purpose, of course).
Coincidentally, the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, the man Hamilton will be replacing, won that race, and Ferrari is historically fairly strong there too. A win would certainly be on the cards.
One last thing
These predictions are hypothetical and based on historical data and typical circuit characteristics. Actual race outcomes depend on numerous variables, including car performance relative to competitors, team strategies, weather conditions, and in-race incidents.
Thank you, AI. You didn’t put much detail, but you gave enough for me to argue with and against.
At the end of the day, the pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari is a dream one, not just for F1 fans to see but for the man himself, who has always expressed a desire to one day drive for them.
As the AI says, multiple in-race factors could and will change the outcome of many races. But if there’s one thing I believe to be certain, it’s that Hamilton will bring about a successful period for Ferrari.
It might not be while he’s there, but the expertise and guidance he will bring with him to the team I’m certain will bring good fortunes for a side that hasn’t been the Ferrari that has dominated F1 for some time now.
It will also be great for Charles Leclerc to have a veteran champion such as Hamilton by his side. Someone he has a good relationship with, who he can learn from, but can also look to beat in his efforts to become a World Champion himself.
I for one can’t wait for the 2025 season and seeing Hamilton in that Ferrari red, and as the internet’s reaction showed when the announcement came, neither can everyone.