Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023

Official: Hamilton to leave Mercedes at end of 2024 and join Ferrari

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Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of this year and join Ferrari for the 2025 season.

Mercedes announced last September the seven-times world champion had signed a new two-year deal which would keep him at the team until the end of next year. However it has now confirmed Hamilton is using an exit clause in that contract to leave in order to drive for another team in 2025.

Ferrari subsequently announced Hamilton will join them for next season on a “multi-year contract”. Hamilton’s move will mark a major change for the driver who is embarking on his 18th season in F1, all of which have been powered by Mercedes.

Last week Ferrari announced Charles Leclerc had extended his deal to drive for the team beyond this season. However the absence of a renewal for his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr prompted speculation over his future. With Sainz’s contract ending after this season, Hamilton can slot in alongside Leclerc at the team.

Lewis Hamilton looks at a Ferrari, 2018
Analysis: Why Hamilton to Ferrari once looked like the deal which would never happen
The upcoming season will therefore be Hamilton’s last with Mercedes. He joined the team in 2013 after starting his F1 career at McLaren six years earlier. Having won the 2008 world championship with McLaren, Hamilton’s move to Mercedes propelled him to becoming the most successful F1 driver of all time. Six further world championships gave him a record-equalling total of seven, and he became the first driver in the sport’s history to win more than 100 grands prix.

However the team has failed to get to grips with new technical regulations introduced by F1 in 2022. Hamilton has not won a race in the last two seasons. Last year, he was clearly dissatisfied at the team’s failure to make more drastic changes to its unsuccessful 2022 car.

Hamilton said he’s “had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together.

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“Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old. It’s a place where I have grown up, so making the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. But the time is right for me to take this step and I’m excited to be taking on a new challenge.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes launch, 2013
Analysis: Will Hamilton’s second change of F1 teams prove as inspired as his first?
He added he will be “forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto [Wolff, team principal] for his friendship and leadership and I want to finish on a high together. I am 100% committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember.”

Hamilton and Mercedes have achieved unmatched success over their 11 seasons together to date. Hamilton has won six world championships with the team, taken 82 grand prix victories and 78 pole positions.

“In terms of a team-driver pairing, our relationship with Lewis has become the most successful the sport has seen, and that’s something we can look back on with pride,” said Wolff.

“Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history. However, we knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come. We accept Lewis’s decision to seek a fresh challenge, and our opportunities for the future are exciting to contemplate. But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on going racing to deliver a strong 2024.”

Ferrari was the only team to beat Red Bull to a victory last season. Although Mercedes pipped them to second in the constructors’ championship, Ferrari ended the season in more competitive shape.

Hamilton has also previously enjoyed success with Frederic Vasseur, who became Ferrari’s team principal at the beginning of last year. He drove for Vasseur’s ASM and ART teams when he won the Formula 3 Euroseries and GP2 championships in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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242 comments on “Official: Hamilton to leave Mercedes at end of 2024 and join Ferrari”

  1. I’ll only believe when a formal announcement comes.

    1. I am with you here @Jere – too many times this has been rumored to be happening. Interesting move if it is true of course.

      1. Saying that – Sky say the announcement is imminent – so this time it could be the real deal.

        1. “Sources have told BBC Sport that all Mercedes team members have been called to a team briefing with boss Toto Wolff and technical director James Allison at 14:00 GMT on Thursday.”

          Probably to discuss which tea brands to stock in the factory cafeteria.

          1. Brings back memories of the time Jenson Button left the team in somewhat acrimonious circumstances, and an “all hands” meeting was called only for Brawn to reveal Michael Schumacher as his replacement… maybe Wolff is on the phone to Sebastian Vettel as we speak!

          2. That would be amazing

          3. We will finally get to see Mick in the Merc!!

          4. Breaking News, Alonso to Mercedes for 2025.

          5. WOW….it’s official now. Ferrari and Merc both confirming. This was NOT on my bingo card for this week.

    2. Yeah, we’ve seen too many speculation going on to just take this as a given.

      1. “Dogs and cats living together!”

    3. Vasseur knows Hamilton from his GP2 winning years at ART. They get on well. Last year he said he wanted Hamilton at Ferrari. I think this is on.

    4. Even then, there’s plenty of time for either team to back out. I’ll only believe it when he’s sat on the grid in a Ferrari and the 5 lights go out.

    5. Yeah I don’t buy it.
      LeClerc is their future and he just signed a huge contract. Ferrari is rich but to bring in another 50ish million contract seems unlikely.

      I may be wrong but I don’t think Red wants to bring in a character who is or thinks he is bigger than the team.

      But it is Ferrari!

      Ferrari would not build a car around Hamilton but LeClerc. Hamilton will be a number 2 driver from the get go.

      Mercedes is simply a better organization thus a better chance of getting back the winning formula.

      I would think Mercedes would go after Fernando if it’s true and he hasn’t signed a new contract yet so he would be available. George and him would make a great tandem. Plus they are friends.

    6. Agreed, this has been rumoured so many times that I’ll need official confirmation before I believe it.

    7. If it’s true, it will be announced by tomorrow. They don’t let leaks like this go on for days on end.

    8. patrick Murphy
      1st February 2024, 19:08

      Mercedes has just confirmed it.

      1. Well, they’ve confirmed he’s out of a job at the end of the year :)
        Still waiting to hear if he has another one for 2025.

      2. notagrumpyfan
        1st February 2024, 19:46

        A bit weird to use the same article (with original publishing time), and changing the headline, whilst leaving the comments which were written when it was still speculative.

    9. And there you go…

    10. notagrumpyfan2
      1st February 2024, 23:50

      there you go…

    11. I believe that Hamilton’s word should never again be taken seriously. He said repeatedly that he would never go to Ferrari and that he would end his career with the brand that gave him seven titles and I am referring to the engine manufacturer of course. I think he is a traitor to his word and ungrateful to Mercedes-Benz. I think George Russel has the opportunity of a lifetime to prove that he is a better driver than Hamilton.

  2. Well the story is everywhere now in the U.K. Even on the BBC website. I cannot imagine it’s all fake. A big surprise though in what has been a very dull off-season.

  3. He better learn italian real fast! Charlie vs Lewis… quali battle will be great

  4. Wow, that is monumental!

    1. Would be for sure! We were just talking about it being unfortunate that Ferrari failed to secure Hamilton at some point when Leclerc announced his extension, but to pair them up… even better.

      Sounds like Vasseur keeps his former drivers close…

      Now we just need the confirmation.

      1. patrick Murphy
        1st February 2024, 19:09

        Just been confirmed by Mercedes!!

    2. Massive news. I thought if the Merc was not up to it this year he would walk away. Ballsy move!

  5. I think this is a good move for all concerned – a chance for Hamilton to take on a new challenge in his last few years in the sport, rather than quietly winding down towards retirement, and a proven – and recent – championship-winner to help guide Ferrari back to the top. Can Hamilton do what neither Alonso nor Vettel could? It will make the next few years interesting to watch, if nothing else.

    1. Good point yeah. Hamilton becoming the “old master” teaching Leclerc (and Ferrari) how to coin in those victories. Will certainly be something to look forward to if this happens.

      1. if it does happen, i only hope Ferrari don’t hobble him and use him to teach the team how to balance a car out on race day. Lewis knows how to work those tires, something Ferrari desperately needs to add to their inventory of IP. If it is true, I just hope Lewis gets a good year with a good car that isn’t breaking down in qualifying and where he isn’t starting in the middle of the grid due to ‘setup issues’.

      2. I expect it to be more like Hamilton being frustrated by Ferrari strategy.

        But if the car is good it will be very interesting to see how they perform against each other.

    2. Neville Smith
      1st February 2024, 15:31

      Ferrari, where legends go to destroy their legacy

      1. Or maybe they weren’t quite the legends people thought?

        Sometimes it’s also hard to appreciate a legacy. Did Schumacher ruin his legacy at Mercedes? The results might say yes; the fact that most senior people at Mercedes still singled out his transformative approach and the effect that had on the team even after years of winning with Hamilton and Rosberg says otherwise. It’s just not as evident to the folks watching from the outside.

      2. If true, this will be disappointing on so many levels. The fact that so many drivers are/were attracted to Ferrari and it did not deliver a car or organization to support their ability and ambitions. His work on diversity that was fully supported by Mercedes will not see the same level of support at Ferrari. Maybe he knows something that we do not,

    3. I’m not so sure…. I don’t think Ferrari’s strategy blunders would help Hamilton, same I doubt he’d be as quiet about them as Charles and Carlos have been. Unless they really get their act together, it could end up being a disaster for both.

      1. patrick Murphy
        1st February 2024, 19:11

        Well its been officially confirmed.

      2. Ferrari’s strategy blunders seem to have reduced somewhat since Vasseur took the helm. And it’s not as though Mercedes were strategic masters themselves – their sheer car advantage saw them through a number of questionable calls for many years, and in the last two seasons we’ve seen them throw away a handful of potential wins through strategy errors. So I don’t see it as a big disadvantage of the move.

  6. Surprising news but great for variety – i’m wondering who Mercedes will put in his place.

    1. Lando is currently sweating heavily over his recent contract papers, hoping the drops can keep the ink from drying…

      1. LOL x 1000 !!

        1. patrick Murphy
          1st February 2024, 19:12

          Its confirmed by merc.

      2. I think it’s fair to say there is a big question mark over the long term future of Mercedes and in particular if Toto walks away from the sport. If this transpires to be true I think it is probably an indicator that Hamilton jumped early as he’s read the writing is on the wall. Mercedes have been bleeding staff for so long it might be Hamilton no longer believes they can get back to where they were.

      3. Neville Smith
        1st February 2024, 15:32

        Piastri is the next best hope then, or possibly Lawson

        1. Piastri also has a long term contract sith McLaren, but he will be cheap to buy out if they want to.

        2. I might be proven wrong as it was just his first season, but look at hamilton’s first season: I don’t believe piastri is any faster than russell and they would be missing a lead driver with that line-up.

    2. If it’s true, Toto is probably hoping Antonelli has a great year in F2 so he can fast track him into the second seat.

      1. Actually Antonelli may have enough super license points already.

        He won FREC last year for 20 points, and in 2022 he won Italian and German F4 championships for 12 points each, which brings him to 44 points, enough for 2025 regardless of his F2 results.

        But bringing him alongside Russel would be quite a stretch.

    3. Well Mick of course!

    4. Ocon has a shot if Russell can confidently assert himself in the #1 role.

      Can the Piastri/Norris pairing last? I’m sure McLaren likes to think so… but one of them might think otherwise.

      1. I’m shocked a midfield team like Alpine retains Ocon… Mercedes is out of the picture for a driver/teammate of his calibre.

    5. Albon, Sainz or Ocon. Or someone from F2. There are a few supposedly very exciting talents there.

    6. It’d be fairly hilarious and poetic justice if Alonso had the luck of the car gods drop his way just once and he moved to MB and immediately had a dominant car or better yet AM produced one. Only god or a disaster engine can stop Newey though. He’s an orca swimming with hammerheads.

  7. George is living his best life today.

    Leclerc probably not so much.

    1. They must have told Charles though I assume(!). So I imagine they offered the contract extension on the grounds that he’s their long term commitment but told him you will be having a new colleague. If they haven’t told him, well…..

      1. I’m sure they told him.

        I’m not sure that he’ll be happy about it.

  8. Wow. Please be true.

    1. Can’t wait for the onboard communication.

    2. patrick Murphy
      1st February 2024, 19:13

      It is, merc has just announced it.

  9. This is extremely surprising. Breath of fresh air not just for Mercedes,Ferrari and Sir Lewis but for Formula 1 as a whole including us fans.

    By the by, Oscar to Mercedes in 2025 confirmed ?

    1. If they buy him out of his contract at McLaren that runs until the end of 2026, sure?

      1. They should have some cash if Ferrari has to buy out Hamilton from his 2025 Mercedes contract, and some.

        1. Hunocsi, I believe the Ham-Merc contract wasn’t binding for 2025, i.e. they could proceed on the agreed terms, or either party had the option to walk away without conditions/penalty.

          1. Interesting, because I’m looking at news articles and also the Mercedes release from the time of the announcement, and they all seem to suggest that it’s a fix two-year contract, but obviously we don’t know the fine details. Even if they don’t get compensated for it, just not having to pay for a year of Hamilton’s salary should keep Mercedes padded to get someone who is on an early career contract.

        2. Anthony Blears
          1st February 2024, 19:51

          Hamilton triggered an exit clause in his contract, so Ferrari are not buying it out.

    2. Naah; now Toto can put the ‘ Schumacher deserves a top team’ in practice; & offer him a nice merc seat.

      (/s)

  10. Hamilton tested the new Mercedes car and peaced out. It must not have been very good then :D

  11. Lewis Hamilton, 31.08.2023, after signing 2 year Mercedes deal:

    “Being at the top does not happen overnight or over a short period of time, it takes commitment, hard work and dedication and it’s been an honour to earn our way into the history books with this incredible team.

    “We have never been hungrier to win. We have learnt from every success but also every setback. We continue to chase our dreams, we continue to fight no matter the challenge and we will win again.

    “I’m grateful to the team who have supported me both on and off the track. Our story isn’t finished, we are determined to achieve more together and we won’t stop until we do.”

    Lewis Hamilton, 02.2024, not even 6 months later and before completing a single lap in 2024 Mercedes:

    I was simply joking, see you, I’m leaving!

    What happened to his commitment, hard work and dedication? Where is his hunger chasing the dream, fight to win? What happened to the story that wasn’t finished and determination to achieve more and NOT STOPPING UNTIL WE DO IT? Was it all lies?

    1. So, did you ever believe a word of it?

    2. He was employing the Royal We.

    3. stupid armchair hate again

      1. armchair hate, something you never done hey?

  12. now put someone decent alongside Verstappen and we are in for a good time. Alonso, I would hope, for his last year or two

    1. I’m guessing Sainz to Redbull, Piastri to Merc (they have the money to buy out his contract), Albon to McLaren

      1. This is the way I see things going really.

        1. Yeah, unless Ricciardo starts to really impress. And unless RB think that Sainz really won’t get along with Max.

      2. Well, I am sure Alonso would be happy to end his career in a RB seat as Max’s teammate. At the same time, being in an RB seat as Max’s team mate easily ends probably one’s career anyway, which is a grim perspective for Mr Sainz.

      3. @twentyseven, @phil-f1-21
        You forgot Pato O’Ward. If an empty seat at McLaren, most likely it will be him getting the seat.

    2. Alonso to Mercedes perhaps? Not sure Russel is good enough for team leader.

      1. I was thinking the same.

      2. Yes please :)

      3. His radio commentary suggest he thinks he could be.

      4. I think Mercedes need to forget that whole 2007 saga and look at what’s the best option available to them.
        They have 3 options that are an equal replacement for Hamilton – Alonso, Norris and Piastri. Norris might be poached by Red Bull, and Piastri will have to be bought out.

        I think the way Alonso has been performing, he should be Mercedes’ top choice. Experience + youth.

  13. I’m hesitant to join the Hamilton-Ferrari hype train, primarily because in the past, he strategically used the Ferrari name during negotiations to force Wolff to meet his financial demands. As there seems to be little left for Hamilton to achieve with Mercedes, retaining him motivated may prove challenging for the team unless they consider offering unconventional incentives such as stock options, something Wolff might be unwilling to do willingly.

    The timing of this rumor’s announcement is, to say the least, suspicious. It comes right after Leclerc extended his contract with Ferrari, leaving Wolff with limited options for securing a top driver. Let’s wait and see. I just hope Hamilton moves to Ferrari for the sake of the sport, which has become increasingly restrictive with the Budget Cap, PU Freeze, single tire supplier, limited testing… and lately no drivers changing teams !

    1. Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to read about a further contract extension at Mercedes in a few days and answers to journalists saying something like “no, we never had serious converstations with Ferrari” while this ‘almost certain!” rumour is putting pressure on Mercedes to sign a multi year contract with big options when they might want to have something shorter and cheaper.

    2. which has become increasingly restrictive with the Budget Cap, PU Freeze, single tire supplier, limited testing… and lately no drivers changing teams !

      Man, it is really painful seeing it listed out like this. I’d add one driver and one team winning nearly everything is pretty static, too.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed. It feels like F1 is like a ship stuck in the ice and moving nowhere, right now. Even the Andretti rejection is just more ice.

      Hamilton to Ferrari seems to be the only thing to force some movement in such a deadlocked F1 state. It will be, at least, interesting to see how he gets on there.

    3. @tifoso1989 All true, but this seems qualitatively different. There’s a critical point where if the driver doesn’t move, it will have a negative impact on their position in the team they’ve stayed at. It feels to me like that point has been passed, but it depends how quickly it’s now confirmed or denied.
      If it is confirmed, 2024 will be very interesting at Mercedes – especially if their car actually turns out to be a big improvement on 2022 and 23.

    4. Hi! I just came after almost 2 years to say hello, and to see how you will / would feel supporting Hamilton next year. Cheers! I no longer have an account here but feel free to reply to your own comment and I’ll take a look later.

      1. OmarR-Pepper
        Hi Omar,
        How have you been? I recall you deleted your account two years ago, and I still remember the reasons vividly. I miss the old days, even though we were passionate about the sport and would engage in lengthy debates over who’s the better driver (Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton…) and the better team, always with respect.

        Sadly, expressing views online has become challenging without facing abuse. Personally I’ve never ever maintained any modern social media account (FB, Twitter, IG…) and it proved to be one the best decisions I’ve ever made.

        By the way, how about you? Are you still in Peru? How’s work? I’ll be cheering for Hamilton just as passionately as I did for Vettel, and remember, I used to be a longtime Vettel and RBR. Seems odd, no ? I’m sorry but I have never been rational when it comes to Ferrari. Always nice talking to you.

      2. Hi OmarR-Pepper, great to hear from you. I’ll be rooting for Ham same as always regardless, but have to say my main emotion has been excitement. Would love to see him challenge at Monza in a Ferrari, gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I still have a similar nervousness like I felt when he moved to Mercedes in 2015 about challenges that could be faced, but as long as he gives it his all then all good by me. It makes sense for him to be there for 2025, so that he can give his input to development of the 2026 car.

        Excited to see how it goes (this year, next year and 2026)

    5. patrick Murphy
      1st February 2024, 19:18

      Merc has just announced it, multi year contract with Ferrari, Hamilton and Leclerc.

  14. I could see this happening, especially since Ferrari has a record of believing former champions will deliver. From Hamiltons perspective I can imagine it would be nice to drive for such an iconic team. From Ferrari perspective it will be good for their marketing, basically buying 7 championships they can leverage. Race wise I do not think they will gain a lot. Only if they have the best car Lewis can/will win a Championship, but then also Charles will do so or is able to. As to helping the team to greatness again; Lewis has not presented himself as a leader of a team in the past, but the driver that shows up to drive the car – so he is unlikely to play a say Lauda or Schumacher role.

  15. He always said he wanted to drive for Ferrari. I’ve become increasingly doubtful it would ever happen as the years have ticked by, but this would be cool to see.

    1. Neville Smith
      1st February 2024, 15:36

      Raikkonen, Alonso, Vettel — the Scuderia has quite a collection of legendary WDC’s recently who failed to deliver. I expect HAM will be no different. (it’s 95% down to the car in F1)

      1. To be fair, Raikkonen did deliver in 2007. Even if not the second time around.

      2. Despite their failure to win the title, Alonso and Vettel made the seasons they were at Ferrari better for it. They led the charge against, respectively, Red Bull and Mercedes like nobody else could or did. So yeah, no titles – but they absolutely were the right people to have in the car at that time.

        1. Alonso and Vettel made the seasons they were at Ferrari better for it. They led the charge against, respectively, Red Bull and Mercedes like nobody else could or did

          With all due respect, I would drop Vettel from that conversation. He had a title winning car in 2018 but dropped the ball and got out of the WDC fight. His 2017 season could have been a tighter fight as well.
          Alonso never had a championship winning car at Ferrari, but took two WDC battles down to the last race.

  16. If it isn’t true at this point, the media will have a lot of egg on its face.

    Would be just whats needed for some interest in 2025 if Red Bull continue dominating.

    Would be good to have a fresh measure of Leclerc, but would also be really sad to lose Sainz. I would hope he gets picked up somewhere.

  17. Until a formal announcement is made I don’t believe it.

    1. patrick Murphy
      1st February 2024, 19:19

      Just has been.

  18. Absolutely fantastic news!

  19. Looks like Mercedes are not serious about winning with Lewis.

  20. Brilliant move – going for an attempt on a title with a third team.
    Closing in on the great Fangio…

    Hope it works out.

  21. My only negative is that I think drivers trying out multiple series is more interesting. But measured by F1 this is very interesting news. Ferrari would have arguably the strongest pairing on the grid.

  22. Alonso to Mercedes. Finally.

    Sainz to Aston.

    1. That would be interesting.

  23. If true, at last!! I’ve been wanting to see this move since around 2019.
    No guarantees at all that he’ll prosper at Ferrari, but these big and shocking driver moves have been sorely missed in recent years. Just one move like this can (could: let’s hope it’s confirmed) change the dynamic of the grid, reconfiguring the driver pairings at other teams too. Ferrari is a racing team that like Red Bull doesn’t prioritize the car engineering (however good) over the drivers and their feedback. Can’t help but feel that’s positive for a driver like Hamilton.

    1. @david-br
      Arguably the greatest ever move in the history of the sport. Only Senna going to Ferrari in the late 90s after equalling Fangio’s record would have been greater. I’ve followed F1 since the late ’90s, recalling moments like Alonso’s shocking announcement of moving to McLaren after winning the WDC and the highly anticipated buzz among the tifosi when Alonso joined Ferrari. Kimi’s move to Ferrari is also worth mentioning.

      I have struggled to sleep when the rumor broke. I believed it was typical for Hamilton to leverage the Ferrari name in negotiations with Wolff. However, the timing, sources, and certain social indicators strongly suggested that a deal had already been finalized. A few days ago, Ferrari shared an image of their new sponsor Peroni that contained a miniature Ferrari with the number 44 which went unnoticed.

      Mercedes surely were caught off guard with this move, the fact that they held a meeting in a hurry with the team members without Toto is quite telling. They were left with no chance to sign a top driver. The best they can do is hire Carlos Sainz who is linked to a move with Audi. Toto’s only option seems to be placing Alonso in that Mercedes seat, a decision he may be hesitant to make unless pressured by other stakeholders.

      1. Alonso to merc would be an equally interesting move! I’m very surprised hamilton actually swapped, people thought he wanted to do that for years but never seemed to me more than rumors.

  24. In all the fevered speculation, I am sure I read somewhere a few weeks ago that Vettel misses the sport. I wonder if he might make a comeback with someone?

    As mentioned above if this is true, and Merc require a new driver, I reckon Piastri might be their main target. I could also see Sainz going to Red Bull to partner Max in 2025. There might be a straight swap but I don’t think Sainz is an adequate replacement for Lewis.

    There will be speculation about Fernando but I cannot see Merc looking at him as an option.

  25. Superb.
    It is what I’ve been recommending Lewis to do for a couple of years now. To cement his reputation as a great, it was not enough to drive a rocket ship that no one else could live with. But going to Ferrari and taking them to titles a la Schumacher and Kimi: Now you’re talking turkey.

    1. I’m so glad he listened to you! ;O)

    2. Now you’re talking turkey.

      Only problem is, it’s not Thanksgiving.

  26. Wolff just gave himself an extension beyond 2026 (?) so are we to expect LH replacemen to come from Wolff Driver MGMT, ie Bottas, Ocon, Schumacher,…Gutierrez and Albon ?(not sure about thse)

    1. @uneedafinn2win I think if it was any of them the rest of the Mercedes board wouldn’t be too please with Toto’s nepotism.

    2. The drivers’ market is strongly influenced by both Vasseur and Wolff. Since the latter has no understanding of the concept of conflict of interests, the answer is yes.

  27. It would be an interesting move if it happens.

    If anyone can drag Ferrari to the front it would be Hamilton. I’d assume he’ll try to take his engineer with him as well to avoid the Ferrari style strategy melt downs and between him and Fred, they could seriously focus the team.

    Realistically they are one of the two teams that can challenge RBR, and development wise Ferrari have probably bettered Merc in the last couple of years only to mess up at the pit wall.

    Merc is in a rebuilding phase so a driver to pair with Russell only has to be OK, not an Alonso or a Hamilton so I expect they might grab Perez when he gets dropped or even someone like Hulkenburg rather than a completely raw junior.

    Whatever happens, it looks like the relatively slow off season is about to heat up.

    1. If anyone can drag Ferrari to the front it would be Hamilton. I’d assume he’ll try to take his engineer with him as well to avoid the Ferrari style strategy melt downs and between him and Fred, they could seriously focus the team.

      If this turns out to be true, that will be a big sign to look out for.

      Ferrari needs to improve on their operations. It’s getting better, but there’s still a lot to do to match Red Bull. Those systems and procedures need to work now so that they don’t have to waste time fixing it when/if they get a competitive car.

    2. There is no way Mercedes would have a 2nd or 3rd tier driver in that second seat. This isn’t an era of Mercedes dominance where the 2nd driver in that seat needs to be just mediocre.

      I expect Mercedes to pull out all their cards for Norris, Piastri or Alonso.

  28. Wow.

    Well, he’s a great signing for Ferrari but Sainz didn’t deserve this. He’s been very close to Leclerc and arguably more reliable.

    It’s Newey Ferrari really need though.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      1st February 2024, 17:27

      Yeah, tough for Carlos if it happens assuming he loses his seat.

      Agreed, it’s Newry they need.

  29. Don’t all teams have clauses in their sponsorship contracts, that essentially double their prices to sponsors, when there is a WDC driving their car? I can not imagine how bad things have to be financially, for Ferrari to choose to sign a WDC that’s knocking on 40.

    This is horrific news.

    1. If said driver is still around the top 3 current drivers, why not, I’d say; age only matters when it causes you to drop performance.

  30. Hang on. 16 + 44 makes 60. Not an especially lucky number.

    1. I guess Ferrarri will have to make some animal sacrifices to make up for the bad omen. (???)

  31. Not great news for Oliver Bearman.

    1. He would have gotten a Haas or Alfa drive in his first season anyways. Ferrari would never throw a rookie in that 2nd seat.

      1. Yeah I bet Hamilton bounces after a handful of podiums in two years. I really hope that’s not the case but my optimism for Ferrari is all but depleted by now.

  32. If he gets the 8th by winning the WDC for Ferrari – he will undisputedly become the greatest of all time.

    1. Hopefully that incentive isn’t lost on Hamilton. The difference of winning an eighth title at Mercedes, say, eventually, and Ferrari (!) would be stratospheric – including for Ferrari.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      1st February 2024, 17:29

      Not to mention, the commercial success of naming a car after him like Dino, Enzo etc.

    3. While it statistically would be epic, I do not agree it would make him the greatest. His tally is exaggerated by the dominance of the Mercedes car which was demonstrated by Rosberg also winning one, the more often 1-2 finishes of the car than not and the perpetual ‘Valtteri, it’s James’ messaging. One of the greats for sure, but it takes a bit more than wins to be the overall great.

    4. I also disagree an 8th would make him the greatest of all times, to me titles won with dominant cars have no value and schumacher definitely performed better in his races without a dominant car than hamilton did, not to mention old drivers like clark, fangio, ascari or new ones like verstappen, who’s been atop of the game all the time, no matter if he had a dominant, a strong or an average car.

    5. In fact even alonso, despite having a lot less titles, is hamilton’s equal, it’s just circumstancial, depending on who had the better car for longer.

    6. It’s going to take a lot more than that to eliminate any dispute to “greatest ever”. I regard Fangio and Clark as the greatest F1 drivers and their combined tally of drivers championships is less than that of Hamilton or Schumacher. Even if you asked me who the greatest driver currently in F1 is, I’d probably answer Fernando Alonso. It’s not that I dislike Hamilton I just don’t think most of his championship wins were marks of a greatest ever driver. Without doubt he is one of the greatest ever though.

  33. Nando to a competitive Merc. PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN

    1. If its Lando to Merc, its probably Alonso back with Zak at Mclaren.

  34. Wonders if this was going to be announced much later this year but the teams needed a ‘dead cat’ to deflect from the obloquy of the Andretti announcement from yesterday!

    1. This was probably always going to be announced today. But it is 99% likely the Andretti rejection was released yesterday for this very reason, yes.

    2. Cynically, I wondered that as well. Strange it has all come out just one day later. To get everyone talking about something else, which we are.

  35. Do it now. Not next year. Add some value to the deadly dull 2024 season. It was rubbish last time someone announced their move a year early, Montoya or Alonso, about 20 years ago.

    1. Exactly my thoughts!

    2. Let’s already give the title to Max and RedBull. Give 1 victory each to Merc, Ferrari, Mclaren and Sergio. Leave the rest for Max and directly jump to 2025.

  36. Alonso is going to push for the second seat

    1. 1st seat.

  37. NOOO Why… Lewis…

    1. Whilst I feel staying with Merc might be a safer option, I think this move is good for F1 as a whole. It shakes up a very predictable driver market. It will put some interesting competition against LeClerc and will be a better barometer of his own skills. It opens a seat at Mercedes to let a new face in, and which will also let us see if Russell can step up to lead, or will he spend too much time looking behind him at a new team mate? And because no-one anticipated this right now, it has the press talking about F1 again. It needed something new to talk about after last season.

  38. I find the timing of this really funny.

    Its like when a corporation does (or is found to have done) something really unpopular, and needs a big story to distract the public.

  39. I just read this interesting tidbit about Carlos Sainz in the UK’s Mirror newspaper:

    As for Sainz, his most likely destination currently looks to be the Sauber team currently branded as Stake F1. It is set to become the official Audi works team from 2026 and the Spaniard has held talks on multiple occasions with the German carmaker, with whom his rallying star dad Carlos Sainz Sr is closely affiliated.

    1. The Audi links of Sainz Sr. are good to note, given how involved he is in his sons career.

  40. Is today April 1 or February 1?

  41. The most interesting news for a long while!

    And well done to whoever found the picture of Lewis in a “Ferrari red” top :-)

  42. More bombshell news: Newey To Switch To Mercedes!!!

    1. More bombshell news: Newey To Switch To Mercedes!!!

      Nah, a bombshell would be Newey switching to Ferrari.

      1. He was going to Ferrari, but then he decided to follow Max to Merc.

  43. He’d look good in red

  44. Adam Driver will be on a heck of a commission.

  45. If it happens….I regret Sainz will have to make place…..and am very curious who will take Lewis’s place.

  46. If true, the working atmosphere at Mercedes will he even more pleasant than the past two years :P

    Can’t imagine it will be good for team morale, when the top driver has decided to leave even before he has driven the new car on track.

    Simulations must have gone woeful, if the rumors are true.

  47. Now 30 mins since the all-hands and not a peep … ?

  48. Anybody remember the articles a few weeks ago saying that Ocon is still managed by Mercedes? Maybe they weren’t put out there by the team for nothing…

    1. Ocon isn’t managed by Mercedes, he’s managed by Toto through his management company, which is not Mercedes.

      How F1 is okay with team bosses also being driver managers, I don’t know.

      1. @sjaakfoo I looked up the original interview to be sure, which was conducted with the Mercedes junior program’s boss, and they say Ocon is managed by Mercedes.

        Is there sadness that he’s driving for another firm? Not at all. Also because Ocon, Lagrue emphasises, is a Mercedes driver “still”.

        “He’s still very linked to us. He’s an Alpine driver, and he’s fully committed to Alpine, but we’re still managing his career.

        It’s interesting what you say, because through a junior driver program, the team bosses are already essentially allowed to be driver managers, so if they manage drivers outside of that, is that any worse?

  49. Hamilton doing a Vettel?

    1. Luckily for Hamilton he’s making the switch after establishing himself as a 7 time WDC, and after Ferrari has established themselves as failures. He has nothing to lose with this move…

      1. To be fair, Vettel had established himself as a four times champion as well before he moved and Ferrari in 2013 and especially 2014 did not really set the world on fire. So there are quite a few similarities, but of course this is much, much bigger.

  50. Doesn’t make sense from anyone’s sporting perspective this move.

    Hamilton gains nothing from this move by moving to an incompetent team that can’t even produce a car worthy of a title fight over a season in over fifteen seasons.

    Ferrari while gaining a driver better than Sainz might end up not taking Leclerc seriously enough.

    Mercedes lose their top driver in this process.

    For emotions and vibes it’s great however.

    1. “For years, whenever I come to Monza and see the fans, I hear them saying ‘Come to Ferrari!’,” the Mercedes driver said, as reported by Sky Italia – “It warms my heart but it’s pretty amazing that I’ve never driven for Ferrari after so many years. Because it’s a dream for everyone, a goal to be achieved. ”

      https://scuderiafans.com/lewis-hamilton-admits-driving-for-ferrari-is-a-dream-for-everyone-a-goal-to-be-achieved/ (circa 2021)

      1. So emotions and vibes it is then?

        1. And great marketing value. Ferrari can leverage 7 WDC’s. Sportive wise I agree, it brings nothing. Hamilton is good when the car can win a championship, but then Charles can do it too.

    2. Ferrari have been close-ish the past two seasons and they’re always close-ish and have been since they last won in 2007. So there’s no reason to think they can’t be competing for wins, at least, and Hamilton brings mega-winning experience. Enough to achieve what Alonso and Vettel couldn’t? Who knows – I tend to think, yes, but that’s maybe just being an over-optimistic fan. But for Hamilton winning at Ferrari would crown his career and kind of trump Verstappen (for now), his strongest rival. Winning at Mercedes again would be pale by comparison, even with a record 8 championships. And for Ferrari, well it’s been a title drought since 2008 (WCC) and 2007 (WDC).

      1. I don’t see why Verstappen is even Hamilton’s rival. He is not in his generation and clearly better but having seen your arguments over the years that is not something we will agree on.

        So moving on from that, Ferrari have been barely competitive for 2 full seasons over the last 10 years. 2022 they weren’t competitive after Hungary which is mid season and 2018 was the only year where they somewhat had a decent car and even that was through likely engine tricks and based on a then good technical team. 2017 they had a weak engine and were competitive enough to win on a few tracks but not good enough for a title anyways.

        They’ve never been close ish unless you magically think that Hamilton alone is worth half a second or more in pace and that it was the drivers holding them back.

        Ferrari have an incompetent technical team and they couldn’t even find a fix to a technical directive. Their engineering ability over the past few years tells me that isn’t going to be magically fixed. Add to that, their race operations, strategy and general management is basically poor.

        From a sporting point of view I see it extremely unlikely that they’ll succeed. From a vibes and emotions point of view even I’m enjoying this last dance.

        Hamilton will live every drivers dream of driving for the red team, but I don’t see why he will do anything more than win a few races here and there, and cash in one large sum of money before retiring.

        1. The idea that Verstappen is ‘clearly’ better immediately sounds hyperbolic and questionable. The last time they were in equal cars, both drover brilliantly, Verstappen with the advantage in the first half of the season, Hamilton in the second half – and should have won the championship (without Masi’s intervention, would have). Close analysis of their actual driving shows they’re actually very similar in terms of corner handling, balance and speed. Verstappen was more aggressive, sometimes too much, Hamilton more cautious, sometimes too much. But overall, no reason to say MV was ‘clearly better’ at all. Now? Difficult to tell. Max is certainly a better all-round driver, but the competition (and so risk and pressure) has been almost nil. He’s dominated Schumacher-style, self-motivating to win when winning is virtually assured anyhow. That’s impressive in itself. Has Hamilton faded? We can’t know until he’s in a better car. But I doubt it. Even so, would he now beat Verstappen on ‘equal terms’? It’s an open question I’d like to see answered.

          Your other question is Ferrari. At some point they will start winning championships again. They have the resources, tradition and drivers. Hamilton adds reliability (e.g. not spinning off on his own under pressure) in addition to his and Leclerc’s undoubted talent and speed. Can Ferrari deliver? No idea. But I think Vasseur’s leadership looks promising. Worst case, like you said, Hamilton ends his career winning a few races for Ferrari at least. Best? You know the answer.

          1. I agree Verstappen can not be compared to Hamilton. I never heard so many former drivers talk Lewis up the way they talk about Max. Let’s not forget -when stripping of the fan bias- the massive advantage Lewis has enjoyed by driving the dominant Mercedes. Let me put it this way: if Hamilton had stayed at McLaren and Alonso would have taken the Mercedes seat, Alonso would be looking at 8 to 9 WDCs by now (depending on if the Rosberg scenario of winning 1 would have happened with Alonso) and Lewis would have 1 WDC. It is not a given fact Lewis is spectacularly great. Clearly one of the better ones out there, but lady luck certainly played a huge role in his career.

  51. It is officially confirmed according to Sky F1. The staff at Merc have just been advised.

      1. dead link

    1. Try again: link.

      1. “Sky Sports News understands with official confirmation expected later on Thursday.”

        Still not official then.

        1. @falken My reading is that Hamilton/Mercedes have done the right thing in telling the team and staff first before it’s made official (public).

          1. Except, you know, everyone already knew this morning. A valiant effort, to be sure.

          2. @sjaakfoo I guess there’s no nice way of switching teams and it’s bound to be read as a vote of no-confidence whatever each side says. At least it’s Ferrari though – I think everyone in Formula 1 gets the attraction for drivers of driving for the team.

  52. I believe HAM’s reasoning is (I) Mercedes will probably not produce a car to rival RB under the current rule changes; so (II) the rules will change in 2026, and usually the prior year produces a competitive season, since the teams do not care about upgrading, so Ferrari will be probably as close as ever to RB. 2025 will be all or nothing.

  53. How cool would it be if Hamilton goes to ferrari and Sainz to Mercedes, and then Merc has the dominant car in 2025 and Sainz manages to secure his first WDC . That would be THE epic story of the century!! Let’s all hope for it !!

    1. @cdfemke Yeah… except Russell would beat Sainz comfortably over a season.

      1. True, he already finished higher than lewis one time, so that is a feat he can expect to repeat over sainz too. Sainz is really strong in strategy tho, it will be a great thing to behold seeing those 2 fight it out. For the story of the century it would be amazing is carlos could pull it off tho.

        1. @cdfemke I think Hamilton has focused more on improving the car, Russell on beating Hamilton. But that’s not in itself negative since Mercedes obviously want Russell as their prospective lead driver – and wanting to win (beat your team mate) is paramount in that case. The big question is how sure Mercedes are about George. Carlos would be ‘complementary’ to GR as lead driver. Expected to be slower but capable of wins and winning in some scenarios. For that he’d be excellent. But Mercedes may be tempted by someone else. Piastri say? Alonso?! (I don’t see from the Mercedes angle that but I do see Alonso wanting the chance and I think Alonso would suit the car and the engineering emphasis).

          1. alonso has been there and done that. it was not a very good combination so i don’t think he will want to do that again. he seems to be comfortable in his team now. But sainz is a free agent. Also sainz is a great technical dev driver, and strategical strong, one of the best in tyre management. it would fit the team . There are some good upcomming talents too, altho merc generally doesn’t race young talent. Their reserve driver is mick schumacher, i don’t think they have anybody lined up

          2. @cdfemke I tend to agree Sainz would be a good match to GR. Not sure how Mercedes will see it though.

  54. I wonder how Lando’s feeling about his new contract today?

    1. He’s feeling great! Hamilton’s move tells you that Mercedes won’t have a competitive car any time soon. Whereas McLaren is on a rise.

  55. I wonder how things will be with Lewis and Toto in the upcoming season.

    1. @haas918 That’s what I’ve been wondering. More exactly: how much will the team want to share with Lewis? And how much will Lewis want to help develop the Mercedes? I think it’s great timing for him to move to Ferrari, not so good timing for his last year at Mercedes.

      1. if it’s his retirement instead of a change of team that got announced within the team, them they can still develop the car together

  56. When Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes everyone thought he was making a big mistake. Lewis knows what he’s doing.

    1. I think so too but for a different reason. Lewis has had luck on his side throughout his career. He took a gamble with Mercedes which played out beyond what one can hope for. Why wouldn’t it happen again?

  57. There will be a massive silly season this year, with two of the top seats available (Red Bull and Mercedes). I sort of hope that Alonso gets the Mercedes seat, even just for a one year contract – and I think Sainz would give Max a good run for his money at Red Bull – they were fairly evenly matched at Torro Rosso.

  58. Who will replace Hamilton Alonso, Sainz , Piastri ?

    1. While we’re into shock moves, I will make a couple of outlandish guesses:

      1) Max Verstappen leaves Red Bull and switches to Merc – MV might want to try for another title with a second team and that team might as well be Mercedes
      2) Sebastian Vettel – same reason as MV (and he’s already tried Ferrari)
      3) Nico Hülkenberg – finally an opening with a top team…?

    2. Albon to Merc

  59. That’s a great driver lineup looking ahead ahead for Ferrari.

  60. It’s not April, but it feels like it.

  61. Makes sense for Mercedes to get Sainz in a swap. Russell hasn’t really shown he’s ready for team leader duties and has not also proven to be the generational talent in terms of speed many expected. Mercedes need a leader for the near term. Sainz has more of the moxy of a leader even if lacking the raw pace of Leclerc.

  62. Anyone else see the symmetry between Hamilton and Schumacher here?
    Shui ended his phenomenal run at Ferrari and after “retiring” came back to help the Mercedes team get back to the top of the game. He then finally does retire and (from all reports) helped recruit Hamilton into Mercedes as his replacement. Now Hamilton heads to Ferrari where Schumacher made his legendary mark.

    The only question remains whether Vasseur can pull the logistics together to make Ferrari a consistently winning team.

  63. Wuuuuuutttt???????

  64. Since 1967 I have always been a tiffoso

    Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

    1. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
      Which means absolutely nothing at all!

      1. Means kind of this I guess:

        I met a traveller from an antique land
        Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
        Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
        And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
        And on the pedestal these words appear:
        “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
        Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.

      2. If you cannot read Latin, that is

  65. That would be some gutsy move by Hamilton. Sure he is still very good, but it is still a definite possibility that he would be trounced by Leclerc in qualifying and playing catch-up all season long.

  66. I think Merc will want either Oscar or Carlos to replace Lewis. If for some reason they cannot get either of them I venture the name Vettel? I would not be hugely surprised if he comes out of retirement to some team.

  67. 2025:
    Perez to Merc
    Alonso to Redbull
    Sainz to Aston

    though I like to see Alonso with the title with Aston in 2026

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      1st February 2024, 22:10

      Perez to Merc? In what alternate universe is that happening?

      I’d like to see Nico Hulkenberg move to a better team.
      Sainz will land on his feet and may get the seat next to Verstappen.

  68. Brilliant!
    Hope it happens.

  69. Check out Ferrari share price, if this does turn out to not be true someone has played a blinder and made a lot of money, 5 billion for Ferrari alone….

  70. To be fair to Hamilton, he got the move to Merc correct. So, assuming for the moment that this move is actually happening, maybe he knows something that most of us do not. Barring some trick up Ferrari’s sleeve though, this seems like an Alonso level move, imo. If he isn’t moving to Red Bull, (or perhaps back to McLaren if they have some trick), a move away from Merc seems daft.

    I’d be happy to be wrong, I would really like to see Hamilton fighting for wins again. But I’m not sure that Ferrari is where that will happen.

    1. we will know on launch day how fkd up the design is. He wouldn’t be making the move if he knew his team was seriously interested in beating Red Bull. And all he needs to focus on is keeping his momentum up. BUT, for what ever reason, this move, so early in the season, pretty much bars him from any kind of consideration for developing the car in his favor, and based on the last two years, it looks like Merc are more interested in Russell that Lewis, probably because Wolff can control Russell a lot more. Billionaire control freaks don’t really differentiate themselves that well.

  71. so he IS retiring!

    1. Green Day said it best

  72. Joining Ferrari at age 40. Must be a record for the oldest Ferrari recruit in a long time.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      1st February 2024, 19:54

      Older than Badoer

      1. Hope it goes better than that did…
        Mario must have been older in ’82.

    2. Juan Manuel Fangio was 45 in 1956 when he went to Ferrari (and won the title).
      Then JMF went to Maserati in 1957 and won there as well.

      Still the only driver to win titles with four (!) different teams.
      Nobody else even made it to three. It’s been a long time.
      Very different times, of course.

      Prost was closest in 1990.
      His third team would have been Ferrari if he hadn’t got punted off at Suzuka.

      Hamilton could do one season with Ferrari and then do a quick switch to Red Bull…

  73. As expected, although while the lure is understandable, this move is still risky as one can’t say for certain Ferrari would be a better option for another championship in 2025 or beyond.

    1. “As expected”…

      Since when, exactly?

      Another mark for 01 ‘As expected’ / ‘As I expected’ anyway

    2. Are you the same Jere as the one that posted “I’ll only believe when a formal announcement comes?” At 11:26?

  74. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    1st February 2024, 19:28

    Hindsight being what it is I wonder if the reason it took quite some time for the contract to get finalised last year was that Hamilton wanted 1+1 but Toto wanted 2 years?

    Hamilton has given the team a full year as a notice period.

    1. Hamilton wanted to be a brand ambassador etc… IE he wanted to retire and continue to get paid a few more years for doing certain things for the team. Toto said, fk that, I can bring in my own guys and pay them a pittance, and design the car around them so that his performance suffers and Lewis has less to bargain with. Thats really how they think, those guyz who are managing the teams. All they care about is their piece of the pie at the end of the year and who to give money to. It would be good to see Lewis go to Ferrari and get paid a pittance (for budgeting), but roll in it a few years after he retires. I think Ferrari are legit more interested in winning than Mercedes, in fact, I am pretty sure Mercedes are letting Red Bull win due to some back room dealing given how Toto steam rolled the FIA and Merc owned the formula for so many years. Its just impossible to believe Merc screwed themselves so hard two seasons in arow like that, showing almost no real competency in design and systems engineering.

  75. Good.
    A nice little shake up to keep the interest alive :)

  76. It’s brilliant news, of course. So exciting. But what a shame it had to come today and overshadow FOM’s rejection of Andretti. There will now be so much less space attributed to panning their pathetic decision.

  77. Great! Good on Lewis for taking the chance. I’m not a fan of his, but his race pace and in-race consistency were still excellent last year. His qualifying pace is usually top notch, too, and these are the most important things to get right in modern F1. I would rate Alonso higher for racecraft, but that is not as important unless you ditch DRS (sorry, Alonso!). I’d love to see Lewis give his full focus to racing and it will be interesting to see what he can do. My gut feeling is that he’s still the next best on the grid after Max as the other young challengers have either not realised their potential or they simply cannot match his consistent race pace (and would have had no chance if Lewis was younger).

    Success would be to beat Leclerc. Next, would be a valiant challenge in a lesser Ferrari like Prost or Alonso. The title is not something that is just about him, but even in an amazing car, beating the much younger Leclerc to a title would be remarkable. Over to you, Lewis. Give it your best and good luck!

    I am a fan of Max and I think it is important that he get the maximum competition possible to keep him in the sport. The next best driver to Red Bull or him going to the next best team are the other things on my list. Lewis going to Ferrari kind of prevents these two from happening for now. Perhaps Alonso to Red Bull or Red Bull being a couple of tenths slower than the best car would be interesting to see. I think Max can make up that couple of tenths on almost anyone (but not Lewis).

  78. Maybe it was FOM/FIA who pulled the strings for this to happen, to counteract declining viewer numbers, reintroduce some drama into a season we all know who´ll win :)

    1. Very plausible. It worked very well too.

  79. Now let’s have Lando vs. VER and Albon vs. Russel as teammates in 2025 (can’t recall a different sport where you’d put “vs.” between teammates)

  80. Does it make any sense for Mercedes to let Lewis drive this season?

    Why not put another new driver in his seat and give them an extra year.

    The Intellectual Property issues, and of course the lower Mercedes finish in this years’ championship, would be of financial benefit to Ferrari, maybe it would be better to leave Lewis ‘on the bench’.

    1. I’d say it makes sense to keep with Lewis. They have a contract and it’s probably an expensive one to buy out. He’s also the best non-Max driver on the grid, so they won’t find someone better.

      It will be interesting to see what happens this year, though. I thought Lewis did get some preferential treatment this last year when they never fully answered George’s questions over the radio. The talk about Lewis and his “experimental” setups in 2022 was rubbish as George was also helping the team. Lewis showed his team game at Singapore when he put George under pressure rather than work with him to overcome Lando and Sainz and get a better position for them both. While I think a good few things were said and done to keep Lewis happy, he has still shown the killer race pace when it mattered, and, like Alonso, he’s a mite ahead of the (non-Max) young challengers as it stands. Age isn’t just a number, though, and George must be motivated to best him this year. If I were him I’d feel unhappy with Lewis’ conduct and the team’s reaction to that. The team will no longer bend over backwards to appease Lewis, though, so some of these margins are now tilted in George’s favour. The team will not suffer Lewis’ mouth quite so much any more. I don’t think Mercedes will do a Ferrari and fire him mid season as Ferrari did to Prost, however, and I think Lewis might be media savvy enough not to put himself in such a position.

      There are a lot of questions, but there is no reason Lewis can’t have a good season with them.

  81. Kudos to Horner, who foresaw this two months ago in Abu Dhabi. He revealed that Hamilton’s entourage had reached out to both RBR and Ferrari, discussing a potential move. RBR rejected their approach because of Max. He was certain Hamilton held serious discussions with Elkann round the Monaco GP weekend. That statement was also dismissed by Hamilton and Mercedes. I thought that Horner was just being Horner talking nonsense and adding fuel into fire but he was right !

  82. Looks like the 2024 Mercedes has made no real progress. Against promisses.

  83. Bad move for Lewis and bad move for Ferrari. To late.

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