When Ferrari announced a new multi-year partnership with Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%, the Italian premium beer brand, ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season, not much special attention was paid to it. In other words, it was treated just like any other announcement regarding any other Formula 1 team partnership.
Skip ahead just a few days, and it has since been revealed that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is set to leave Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season and join Ferrari as Carlos Sainz Jr.'s replacement alongside Charles Leclerc in 2025.
Looking back at the Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0% announcement, were Ferrari trying to tell us something all along?
Did Ferrari try to 'leak' Lewis Hamilton news?
A number of astute fans pointed out that the Ferrari car used in the partnership image featured the No. 44. They could have used any Ferrari from the team's illustrious history, and they chose the car in which Maurice Trintignant won the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix using what is now Hamilton's number.
Chris Medland even pointed out that it was Mercedes driver Juan Manuel Fangio who started that race from the pole position.
And we'll even go one step further: Fangio ended up driving for Ferrari the following year.
The hints were there all along. Coincidence?
Yes, Medland also mentioned that both Leclerc and Sainz were featured in the announcement, but why wouldn't they have been? The partnership is set to begin in 2024, and those two drivers are still Ferrari's two drivers for the upcoming season.
Either way, Hamilton is indeed set to leave Mercedes for Ferrari, which have not won a constructor championship since 2008 and have not had a driver win a world championship since Kimi Raikkonen won in 2007.
Hamilton's seven titles remain tied for the all-time record with Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher. The 103-time Grand Prix winner has not stood atop the podium since December 2021, which was likely a major factor in his decision to bring an end to a historically successful run with the Silver Arrows.