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Monday, July 22, 2024

How Hamilton dropped his Ferrari bombshell on Mercedes

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It has been an opportunity for the pair to digest the occasions of the earlier marketing campaign, run via developments over the winter and discuss via goals and ambitions for the battle forward.

They have been the right alternative for the pair to spend a great deal of time collectively, higher grasp one another’s mindset and get every part lined up as they battened down for the depth of the season that lay in entrance of them.

Speaking previously about the value of these meetings, Wolff had stated: “I feel on the finish of the season is an effective second, the place you may put every part on the desk, a few of the frustrations and undiscussed subjects, and to mirror on them, and to analyse them and to agree or discover out what really occurred.”

ANALYSIS: The risks in Hamilton’s Ferrari F1 move

That annual get-together was scheduled for this Wednesday at Wolff’s Oxford residence – with Hamilton having been at Brackley the day gone by for a seat-fitting with the 2024 automobile.

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From Wolff’s perspective there was each motive to suppose that this is able to be an opportunity to hopefully draw a line over the workforce’s struggles for the previous two seasons and prepare for what’s hoped is a renewed aggressive cost due to Mercedes’ all-new W15.

However issues didn’t end up as anticipated and as an alternative, the important thing focus of the assembly was Hamilton dropping the bombshell that he would be activating a release clause in his contract and had signed for Ferrari in 2025.

Nearly concurrently, Hamilton’s long-time confidante Marc Hynes, who has not too long ago returned to a extra lively position within the seven-time champion’s administration, had arrived at Mercedes’ Brackley manufacturing facility to ship a proper letter to the workforce notifying it of the scenario.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, celebrates, Marc Hynes after taking his 69th F1 Pole Place

Picture by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Hamilton’s departure was now official and, regardless of the shock, the ball started rolling on managing the information previous to Thursday night’s public affirmation of what was occurring.

Whereas there have been recommendations that the January 31 date could have been vital as a cut-off level for Hamilton to activate any choices he had, it’s understood that this was not the case.

As an alternative, occasions solely performed out this week as a result of it seems that Hamilton wished to let Wolff know face-to-face on the first alternative he had, fairly than do it via a cellphone name or by way of legal professionals.

HAMILTON: Leaving Mercedes F1 team for Ferrari the “hardest decision”

Let’s not neglect that when Nico Rosberg advised Wolff he was retiring after profitable the 2016 championship, he couldn’t deal with doing it in particular person – so did it by way of a cellphone name on the airport after they’d spent hours collectively flying again to Europe.

Getting issues cleared up earlier than the beginning of the season additionally made a whole lot of sense for Hamilton in getting the information out of the best way as rapidly as attainable.

If he had stored the Ferrari deal underneath his hat, understanding that whispers would inevitably get out, then he risked it turning right into a season-long media frenzy that would have distracted from each his and Mercedes’ aggressive focus.

Whereas there have lengthy been rumours linking Hamilton to Ferrari, which beforehand had gone nowhere, Hamilton’s revelation that he had signed for the workforce is known to have caught Mercedes without warning.

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, talk after the race

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, discuss after the race

Picture by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

As the primary rumours of Hamilton’s departure emerged, it was inevitable to suppose that issues had maybe been effervescent away for some time and that Mercedes had been making an attempt to line up every part to maintain its driver pleased.

The latest bulletins that Wolff and technical director James Allison had prolonged their contracts have been maybe indicators that the squad had been desirous to clarify to Hamilton that there was long-term stability of senior administration.

Nonetheless, it’s understood that the Wolff and Allison developments had nothing to do with Hamilton – particularly as a result of there had been no indication at that time that there was an opportunity he may go away.

It is usually understood that there had been no behind-the-scenes points that had triggered Hamilton wanting out, nor any concern concerning the progress of the W15 venture that has provided some encouraging indicators from the simulator.

As an alternative, as Hamilton confirmed within the eventual Mercedes press launch, this was merely about being the appropriate time to maneuver on.

With Wolff and Mercedes’ senior administration conscious of the importance of Hamilton’s choice, it made sense for the workforce to maneuver rapidly to get issues lined up for the workforce and the general public.

Wolff referred to as a gathering on the Brackley manufacturing facility for 2pm on Thursday the place each workforce member was inspired to attend.

Mercedes factory

Mercedes manufacturing facility

Picture by: Mercedes AMG

And it was right here, by way of video hyperlink as he was in Milan for a Mercedes engineering workforce assembly with Pirelli, that Wolff introduced that Hamilton could be leaving on the finish of the season.

By this stage, regardless of no public remark from Mercedes and Ferrari, the information had already just about leaked out – earlier than each groups made their bulletins round 7pm on Thursday evening.

Hamilton’s transfer to Ferrari is one in all F1’s largest shock tales for years and triggered probably the most dramatic information days now we have had some time.

However it’s a story that can excite grand prix racing for years to return – particularly as a result of the way it performs out is anybody’s guess proper now.

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