Lewis Hamilton will be leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari in 2025, and this has led to some concerns among Mercedes fans about the possibility of him sharing sensitive information with Ferrari.
However, Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff believes there's no need to worry for a few reasons. Wolff mentioned that the team will assess things at the end of this season to decide their future direction.
Right now, the focus is on Hamilton doing his best and aiming for success in 2024. Wolff doesn't want to think too far ahead.
Despite some people thinking Mercedes won't do well this season, it's important to remember that Hamilton will still be part of the team in 2024, working towards achieving great things.
“In terms of development going forward, it’s something we need to look at. When it comes to 2025 we will evaluate later in the season what it means in terms of technical information,” Wolff said, as reported by crash.net
“But it’s not something that bothers me at all. We have engineers that go to other teams and the notice periods are sometimes as short as six months.
I don’t have any doubt in Lewis’ integrity in terms of sharing information. We want to make sure that this is a successful season for both drivers and for Mercedes and all of us will give our utmost to achieve that.”
Although some believe that George Russell will be treated better by the Mercedes managers this season, things will not be like that. Wolff has been in this business for a long time. He wants to treat every driver in the same way and provide them with the same foundations for progress.
Russell and Hamilton are a great duo, although in previous seasons they failed to achieve the team's primary goals. Having Red Bull as an opponent greatly complicates the achievement of such goals.
“I’ve always tried to be transparent and fair and nothing’s going to change in that respect in 2024. We owe it to our principals and our racing intent and I will ensure that the drivers respect that.”
Mercedes' opponents hope that Hamilton's departure will also spoil the atmosphere within the team and significantly damage their progress, Wolff emphasizes that this will certainly not happen. Mercedes continues to develop in the same direction as before. This season could be a great opportunity for Hamilton to say goodbye in a great way. The only question is how much Mercedes has worked on their car at the moment and whether they will be able to compete with the other teams in 2024.
“But it is something that when you focus on the really short term, and this is the racing team that is being deployed to run the product, it doesn’t have a big impact on everything that has happened going forward on the development side,” he continued.
Toto emphasizes that there will be discussions within the team to understand the direction they need to take. Before the start of both this season and the next, the team's goals and driver plans will be determined. This season provides an opportunity to establish objectives for the upcoming one. A strong performance by Mercedes this season will surely improve the team's atmosphere and, also, raise the bar for future goals.
“I’m always interested in new and challenging situations, and balancing 2024 Mercedes interests versus 2025 driver interests is something we will openly discuss at the beginning about how to manage and for sure come to a good outcome about how to manage.”
Lewis Hamilton's departure and reactions
A big hype was created around Lewis' departure. Ferrari fans are very excited. Having such a driver, despite somewhat weaker performances lately, is certainly a big deal. Ferrari will primarily have to provide a car with which Lewis can aim for the victories. If he does not have a competitive car, then it is difficult to expect that he can do anything more.
Hamilton's colleagues have only words of praise for Lewis. The new chapter in his career is expected to be a great one. Valteri Bottas, his former teammate, is one of those who expects great things from Lewis.
Valtteri Bottas expresses surprise at Lewis Hamilton's decision to leave Mercedes for Ferrari. Initially expecting Hamilton to stay with Mercedes, Bottas stressed the unpredictable nature of Formula 1. He sees Hamilton's move to Ferrari as a positive choice, providing him with a new beginning.
Additionally, Bottas suggests that Hamilton's decision is significant enough to impact the broader driver market in Formula 1, potentially leading to changes and movements among other teams and drivers.
From the marketing side, everyone in F1 will profit from Lewis' decision. Ferrari especially!