Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time F1 world champion, took the F1 fraternity by storm on Thursday with an unexpected and shocking switch to Ferrari. Hamilton, who has been associated with Mercedes for the past decade, will now don the iconic reds from the 2025 F1 season.
As shocking as the rumors were, things escalated quickly. On Thursday morning, Sky Sports first broke the news. And by evening, both Mercedes and Ferrari had confirmed the historic driver swap. However, what unfolded behind the scenes that led to a fallout still remains unknown. But as per reports, Lewis Hamilton jumped ships whilst keeping the Silver Arrows in complete darkness about his intentions.
Lewis Hamilton Alerted Mercedes Of Switch To Ferrari Only A Day Ago
The F1 fraternity woke to a bombshell update on Lewis Hamilton’s future on Thursday morning. Sky Sports confirmed the British driver’s imminent switch to Ferrari after the conclusion of the 2024 season. Since Hamilton signed a two-year extension five months ago, the shift in the storyline hasn’t added up. However, Sky Sports later reported that Lewis had some kind of an exit clause that he exercised to move to Scuderia Ferrari. Having said that, fans continue to speculate what unfolded behind the scenes, which drove Lewis to the extreme step. Since Mercedes hit a setback in 2022, the Briton has stood like a rock, backing the team and engineers. He even expressed his desire to end his career at Brackley for the sake of loyalty.
Regardless, BBC Sport has now dropped another bombshell to underscore how Mercedes was caught off-guard. Apparently, Lewis Hamilton only informed the team of his switch 36 hours prior to the official announcement on Thursday. He allegedly took the employees to paintball before he broke the shocking news. Even team principal Toto Wolff, who has been a close aide of Lewis for the longest time, was made aware of the situation 24 hours prior. Thus, Wolff called an urgent team meeting in Brackley on Thursday afternoon to brief the team on Hamilton’s sudden decision. Wolff attended the call virtually as he wasn’t in the city. Additionally, Chief Technical Officer James Allison also marked his presence. The meeting allegedly lasted 10 minutes, wherein Wolff conveyed how the surprising development took him aback. Hours after the internal meeting, Mercedes confirmed the rumors via social media.
Toto Wolff Breaks Silence After Hamilton’s Historic Switch To Ferrari
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff issued a joint statement with Lewis Hamilton to confirm the news of the breakup. Wolff said his and Lewis’ relationship will go on to become one of the most successful pairs in F1 history. They achieved enormous success in the past decade, which they take pride in. “Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history,” Wolff said.
However, Wolff acknowledged how the relationship had to come to an end one day. And sadly, the day is today. He further wished Lewis Hamilton the best and accepted the driver’s decision to seek fresh challenges. “But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on going racing to deliver a strong 2024,” concluded Wolff.
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