Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2023

Perez predicts “jealousy” problems arising from Hamilton’s move to Ferrari

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Lewis Hamilton’s impending move to Ferrari could trigger problems within his Mercedes team this year, one of his rivals has predicted.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez said Mercedes will be concerned about the potential for Hamilton to take sensitive information with him to his new team. Hamilton has driven for Mercedes since 2013.

“The dynamics are going to be interesting to watch from the outside,” Perez told media including RaceFans at Red Bull’s launch event last week.

“Having a driver that is moving things, we all know how jealous the teams are on sharing information. Because Lewis has been many years there I think he will be taking a lot of knowledge to another team. So that will be some interesting dynamics to watch from the outside.”

However Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said he isn’t concerned about the transfer of information which will take place when his star driver leaves at the end of the season.

“When it comes to 2025, we will evaluate later in the season what it means in terms of technical information,” said Wolff. “But that’s not something that bothers me at all.

“We have engineers that leave us and go to other teams and the notice periods are sometimes as short as six months. I don’t have any doubt in Lewis’s integrity in terms of sharing information.”

Perez is one of many F1 drivers whose contracts with their teams expire at the end of this year. He said Hamilton’s move will set the driver market in motion as it has created a vacancy at Mercedes next season.

“I’m sure that most of the drivers are going to be willing to get things done a lot earlier in the year,” he said. “But it’s just the approach you have: From my side, I’m just focusing on having a great year.”

Delivering strong results is the best way to secure a favourable driver, said Perez.

“The race always takes care of it. As long as you are performing on track, the rest always comes in play. So I’m not really bothered about it. It’s my fourth season in F1, so for me my main target is keeping it well on track.”

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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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34 comments on “Perez predicts “jealousy” problems arising from Hamilton’s move to Ferrari”

  1. It’s my fourth season in F1?

  2. Checo, you are constantly under attack for last year’s performance. Much to my regret, I must say that you’ve earned it. Talk less and concentrate on making the best of your season. Think carefully what would be the best case scenario given your situation. You know that winning the championship is out of your reach. There are many potential reasons for this but the only thing you should know is that this is a fact. Don’t answer questions about expectations for 2024, your seat in 2025, etc.

    So, when the media asks you, don’t say this is your target because you are going to be hit hard. Be measured and focused; your target must be getting every weekend done in the best way possible. Always bring your answers back to the next practice season and the next race. Don’t allow media to make stories about how your teammate is smashing your dreams. They love doing that because we are in need for heroes and one of the ways to do it is by comparing to the teammate. This is normal; we all do it. Rather, play your own league. Look at Raikonnen at Ferrari, he was beaten by ALO, VET, and LEC. Yet nobody remembers him as a looser. His ballgame was not winning championships but something else. Keep a low profile and, hopefully, your results will do the talking. If things don’t work out by the end of 2024, then you’ll have to accept it and leave. Get in good terms with the RBR hierarchy and grab a seat at the sister team (whatever its name will be in 2025). You have proven to be a great driver for mid-field teams. This may be your legacy.

    All this comes from a fan who has followed you closely since 2011.

    1. Weird comment, who are you talking to? This is racefans, not the Perez’ fan club e-mail address, and even then, why would he care at all what weird rant you want to make? Share your thoughts, but this weird talking to celebrities thinking they’re listening is best left to insta or twitter… It’s not even on topic to the article at all.

      1. Coventry Climax
        19th February 2024, 11:27

        It doesn’t strike me as weird all that much, @skipgamer.
        I think Ankita is very aware Perez isn’t very likely to read all this, but just using a way, a writing-style if you like, of saying things. A bit ‘novelesque’ maybe, but nothing else.
        The things Ankita says are quite valid, as far as I’m concerned, even if you consider them off topic.
        Sure, Perez was probably asked by the press about it.
        He could have just stuck to answering it’s none of his concern or business.

      2. eh, let them vent or whatever that was
        it doesn’t violate the comment policy and their fanaticism, sorry passion isn’t unfounded
        like you said, they’re sharing their thoughts

        1. Yes, very well put. Agreed!

    2. The man got asked by a reporter about his opinion on this and he answers. To me his answer is interesting and makes sense, so good on him for giving an interesting answer instead of a “oh, I don’t know”

  3. It’s my fourth season in F1

    Haha, made me do a double take to make sure I wasn’t going crazy, just a couple more years than that…

    1. Coventry Climax
      19th February 2024, 11:30

      Noticed that too.
      Unfortunately, we can’t be sure who made that error though, these days, or omitted something he also said.

    2. “I’m not really bothered about it, it’s my 14th season in F1, so for me, the mentality is hitting it well on track.”

      That’s how others quoted him a few days ago.

      1. I took it to mean it was his fourth season in Red Bull, but whether he meant to say 4th in Red Bull or 14th in F1, you’d think he would have more ambition thn simply keeping the car on the track.

  4. Coventry Climax
    19th February 2024, 10:49

    I couldn’t care less about what Perez says, as it’s always turned out just blah.
    There’s no doubt Hamilton brings Mercedes knowledge to Ferrari, and there’s no doubt he will be sharing it with them, and Wolff knows it.

    I’m much more concerned though, in how things will play out between Hamilton and Russell this season. Obviously, this year is Russell’s opportunity to establish himself as the no. 1 driver, and I’m quite sure he’ll attempt to prove so at every opportunity. Having come to know a bit about him over the past seasons, unfortunately that may also mean we’ll hear him complain about Hamilton whenever and wherever he can. It’s not a trait I especially appreciate in him – or any driver, although I’m tempted to say it originates from the Wolff school; he wasn’t really like that earlier, nor even at Williams, or maybe we didn’t hear everything back then.

    I’m sure there’ll be lot of intrigue going on and I’m equally sure the press and ‘fans’ will all jump to it alike. That’s actually started already.
    I can only hope it’s not going to be yet another blown up show-aspect, getting in the way of what this is originally all about: racing.

    1. I hope we see hear less of Russell getting on the radio to ask to exclaim how he’s faster asking to be let by, and just doing the talking on the track. Hopefully he has less hesitancy to take the fight directly to Hamilton given he’s leaving.

      As Perez says it will be interesting to watch from the outside how things go, if Merc will treat Hamilton any differently.

      1. MB wants to win both Championships this year, or finish second if they can’t, and won’t do anything to impede Hamilton or Russell. And Lewis will be focused on beating LeClerc to set the pecking order at Ferrari for ’25.

    2. There’s no doubt Hamilton brings Mercedes knowledge to Ferrari,

      Loïc Serra making the move to Ferrari, I would have thought that would be more concerning with regard to technical information in his head than anything Lewis, as a driver, can take with him. That concern is reflected in Toto’s comment: “We have engineers that leave us and go to other teams and the notice periods are sometimes as short as six months.”

  5. I think this is a mistranslation from Spanish, Pérez is probably thinking of celoso, which can mean jealous but in this context is more like zealous, meaning vigilant; in this case, Mercedes will be guarded about the information they pass on to Hamilton.

    1. This makes a lot more sense, so let’s go with this.

      It’s definitely not an ideal environment, everyone who’s ever quit a job and spend a little while longer finishing up with the company knows how awkward it is for everyone involved. The so-called elephant being constantly in the room. But end of day, everyone’s a professional and it’s just a job.

      1. @sjaakfoo You’re right that they’ll deal with it professionally. I don’t think it will bother Hamilton, he can just relax and drive the car as far as it will go without having to worry about development beyond the end of the season. It will be a bit trickier for Mercedes since they’ll want Hamilton (and Russell) to maximize results this year but may be wary about some stuff they’d rather Ferrari didn’t get to know. The only awkward scenario I can imagine is if, for some weird reason, the two drivers end up in a title battle. Then the tensions between drivers and who is getting what extra tech, information, etc. could ratchet up (the closest comparison being Hamilton v. Alonso 2007 when Alonso was clearly on his way out but in a title fight to the last race). Unlikely though.

        1. as *fast* as it will go :)

    2. Coventry Climax
      19th February 2024, 11:35

      I think your absolutely right about this.

    3. @david-br
      Thanks, great addition. That sounds plausible

    4. Thats what you get when translating foreign articles with Google translate.

    5. Good point there @david-br

  6. The engineers will make a lot more difference anyway. I mean look at Rob Marshall to McLaren, or Dan Fallows to Aston, and Ferrari have got Loic Serra already. Obviously Mercedes aren’t going to involve Lewis in next year’s car, but that doesn’t matter does it

  7. Thanks for sharing the more plausible context, David. Saves P from another round of bashing. Hope he survives 2024 and survives it well enough to continue to be in F1 for some more years.

    1. He must be happy one of the musical chairs is already empty.

      1. I agree. So now Sergio needs to make sure he doesn’t say anything which will help him loose favour with Toto. After all, he has no idea whether or not he will have a seat at Red Bull next year.

    2. No problem! I’m fluent in Portuguese, not Spanish, but it instantly came to mind as a translation issue (celoso is zeloso in Portuguese).

  8. I’m sure Bono will be very professional but the atmosphere is going to be a T O X I C one. The media will be overjoyed.

    1. Why would the atmosphere be toxic. All team members drivers and engineers are professionals. To expect otherwise is childish. Drivers and engineers move from one team to another always that’s just F1. Lewis knows he will not be made aware of things for next year’s car and he is professional enough not to push when told. Simple.

    2. I don’t see why there should be a toxic atmosphere at Mercedes. Drivers regularly change teams and, at least as far as I can tell, this is done in a professional and courteous way. As I said earlier, I think Lewis and Carlos should simply change places before the season starts, so Carlos drives for Mercedes this year and Lewis drives for Ferrari.
      The only thing which will happen is Lewis’s feedback in regards to the development of the 2025 car will be ignored.

    3. Why do I get the impression you’re hoping there will be a toxic situation? Do you work for the media that would be overjoyed?

      Like any other employment where technical staff are employed, F1 has moves and changes.
      If I, or any of my colleagues over the years, make a move we are expected to be professional in our job until the last day.
      Generally speaking, people don’t abuse that trust.

    4. That is silly as the most of professional enough to don’t let that happen. If Bono is going to leave Mercedes to join Lewis we see him leaving Mercedes half way the season.

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