Lewis Hamilton stumped Mercedes and the entire F1 fraternity with a shocking switch to Ferrari. Mercedes and Ferrari confirmed the swap on Thursday evening. However, the timing of the historic move caught the fans, as well as the Silver Arrows team principal Toto Wolff off-guard.
Lewis Hamilton signed a 1+1 year deal with Mercedes five months ago. However, even before testing the W15 on the simulator, the Briton decided to jump ships. Many fans speculated a major fallout between him and the Brackley-based racing outfit. However, recent information about Lewis’ contract details with Ferrari suggests how the driver took the extreme step to build a legacy around him.
Ferrari Wrote A Blank Cheque To Lewis Hamilton To Secure His Future Beyond Racing
Lewis Hamilton, 39, is nearing the end of his illustrious F1 career. Thus, he is on a mission to safeguard his post-racing career and several business and philanthropic initiatives. Accordingly, the Briton asked Mercedes for an ambassador’s role during last season’s contract negotiations. However, the board allegedly refused to adhere to Lewis’ request. Meanwhile, Ferrari part owner John Elkann caught the wind of Hamilton’s unfulfilled desire. And chose to use it to lure Lewis Hamilton to Maranello. As per F1 journalist Joe Pompliano, John offered 100 million euros to Hamilton for the 2025 season with an option to extend in 2026. Apparently, 80 million will be paid in salaries and the rest 20 million in bonuses for the benefit of the charity foundations.
Not only that, but John Elkann promised to open up a joint investment fund of 250 million euros via the Exor family business. That fund will be used to invest in Lewis Hamilton’s projects. It will also transform him into an ambassador for his own brand. Basically, Ferrari wrote him a black cheque and offered him everything Mercedes denied in 2023. The fresh details clearly suggest how Lewis Hamilton plans to build an ever-lasting legacy around himself. By jumping ships to Ferrari, who has always been reluctant to diversity and change, Lewis Hamilton has the opportunity to lead by an example for his beliefs and ideology. Meanwhile, Ferrari has already witnessed a 6% surge in its market value after Hamilton’s announcement. Thus, from 2025 to 2026, they expect to fetch unimaginable gains with the seven-time world champion’s presence.
Hamilton Likely To Poach Mercedes’ Key Personnel’s With Him To Maranello
Trouble is mounting for Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton’s abrupt departure to Ferrari. As per rumors, several engineers are ready to move to Maranello with Lewis in 2025. Not only that, but Lewis Hamilton could also request his race engineer, Peter Bonnington and Andrew Shovlin to move with him to Ferrari. Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, addressed the speculations.
He confirmed having a meeting with Bonnington soon to discuss his future with Mercedes. As of now, everyone is still wrapping their heads around the sudden developments. Once the new season kicks in, Wolff will have those difficult conversations with Hamilton’s close aides. It’s safe to assume Lewis’ departure will have ripple effects on the Silver Arrows’ imminent future.
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