Toto Wolff Reflects on Historic Partnership as Hamilton Departs Mercedes

In a media interview, Hamilton admitted that leaving Mercedes was one of the most difficult decisions

by Sead Dedovic
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Toto Wolff Reflects on Historic Partnership as Hamilton Departs Mercedes
© Clive Mason / Getty Images

Surprising many, Lewis Hamilton recently confirmed his departure from Mercedes, revealing his decision to join Ferrari in the upcoming season. Despite initial expectations that the British driver would conclude his career with Mercedes, his plans took an unexpected turn. Realizing that Mercedes couldn't provide the conditions he needed for success, Hamilton carefully thought about his future and chose to start a new journey with Ferrari.

In a media interview, Hamilton admitted that leaving Mercedes was one of the most difficult decisions he had ever made. He believes that the timing is right for a change. However, he took a moment to express his appreciation to the leaders of Mercedes and the entire team for their consistent support and understanding since day one.

The upcoming season with Mercedes serves as an opportunity for Hamilton to address certain aspects and show to the world that he continues to be a top-quality driver.

"I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I'm so proud of what we have achieved together,” Hamilton said, as reported by crash.net

"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. I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto 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.”

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, responded to the news of Lewis Hamilton's departure by recognizing their highly successful partnership as the most triumphant in the history of the sport. He expressed pride in the accomplishments they achieved together. 

Hamilton spent 11 great years with this team. Only special drivers can achieve so much success in this team, and Hamilton is certainly one of them. Although Hamilton was more optimistic about the previous three seasons, the Briton failed to impose his pace and achieve the successes he expected. Max Verstappen was a dominant figure, especially last season.

Wolff went on to explain that, although Hamilton will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history, the team knew that their partnership would eventually come to an end. He accepted Hamilton's decision to seek a new challenge and expressed excitement about the opportunities the future holds for the team. 

It seems that Lewis had mentioned the possibility of a break in their collaboration, and Wolff accepted that possibility. Surprisingly, there hasn't been much recent discussion about it. It's noteworthy how both team managers and those close to Hamilton successfully kept this information confidential.

Despite these changes, Wolff emphasized the current focus on the upcoming season, highlighting the team's commitment to delivering a strong performance in 2024. 

This season will be a great chance for Hamilton to end his adventure in a great way. Red Bull is currently the dominant team in F1, but F1 is such a sport where things change quickly, from second to second. Mercedes leaders want to stop Red Bull from establishing dominance again this season.

A lot of reactions from famous faces of the F1 scene followed. Some are still surprised and cannot believe that Hamilton decided to take such a step.

Ralf Schumacher reacts

Ralf Schumacher shared his thoughts on Lewis Hamilton's decision to join Ferrari, suggesting that it could be the right choice for the British driver. According to Schumacher, many drivers dream of driving for Ferrari before concluding their careers, and Hamilton seems to share that aspiration. Hamilton is already written in the history of this sport. Going to Ferrari and potential success there would only make Hamilton more respected.

Ralf Schumacher
Ralf Schumacher© Mark Thompson / Getty Images Sport
 

Schumacher also highlighted the influence of Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen Team Principal, Frédéric Vasseur, in Hamilton's decision. He praised Vasseur for his excellent work in transforming the team and speculated that Hamilton believes Vasseur can bring that success to a new level at Ferrari. Vasseur is a man with a clear vision and plans. His role in Ferrari is crucial.

While Schumacher clarified that he hasn't personally spoken to Hamilton, he dismissed the idea that Hamilton is making this move solely because Michael Schumacher, Ralf's brother, also joined Ferrari in the past. Instead, Schumacher believes that Hamilton's decision comes from a genuine desire to be part of Ferrari's historic legacy in Formula 1 and to pursue another championship title with the iconic team.

It will be a difficult task, especially when we look at the quality of other teams, but we must not rule anything out as an option.

Toto Wolff Hamilton Mercedes
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