Hamilton to Ferrari in 2025 – Mercedes team boss Wolff is particularly surprised by the timing of the announcement. How did he feel when Rosberg stunned with a career decision in 2016?
Which farewell announcement caught Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff more unprepared? The latest sensational news that Formula 1 record world champion Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes at the end of this season and driving for Ferrari from 2025? Or Nico Rosberg’s sudden resignation after winning the 2016 World Cup?
“For me, the surprise of the timing was just as big as it was for Lewis,” Wolff replied to a corresponding question during a digital media round. Rosberg unexpectedly announced his retirement from Formula 1 in December 2016 after winning his first title. Hamilton is leaving Mercedes after this season and will then drive for the most traditional racing team. “It wasn’t so much the circumstance that surprised me, but the timing,” Wolff continued, after all Hamilton had a corresponding contract option.
Finding a successor for Hamilton, the seven-time world champion and 103-time Grand Prix winner, from 2025 is difficult enough. But Wolff wants to concentrate on this season first. “We need to put a car on track that has more pace than last year’s and we know how difficult it will be to compete not only with Red Bull but potentially with the others as well.”
Wolff doesn’t want to forget the second regular driver George Russell (25) in the discussion about the announced farewell to Hamilton (39). “George has the potential to become the next leader of the team,” emphasized the Mercedes team boss.
Russell has been driving alongside Hamilton for two years. During this time he achieved the only Mercedes victory. In 2022 he celebrated the first Grand Prix success of his career in Brazil. “The Lewis story ends,” said Wolff, “but the Mercedes team will continue to win.”
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