Lewis Hamilton reveals who convinced him to quit Mercedes for Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari in 2025 (Photo: Getty)

Sir Lewis Hamilton says he shock move to Ferrari would not have happened if Frederic Vasseur was not in charge of the Formula One team.

At the start of the month it was announced that Hamilton would be leaving Mercedes after 11 years to join Ferrari in 2025.

The motorsport world was rocked to its core by the news, with the seven-time world champion saying he was fulfilling a childhood dream to race in red.

Few could have envisioned this happening, especially after the 39-year-old extended his contract with the Silver Arrows only last summer.

The whole transfer process occurred very quickly at the start of the year, and Hamilton has now claimed that there is one man responsible for what many have called the biggest driver move in F1 history.

‘I’ve got a great relationship with Fred,’ Hamilton told reporters on Friday – the final day of pre-season testing.

‘Obviously, I raced with him in Formula 3, and we had amazing success in F3 and also in GP2 [now Formula 2] and that’s really where the foundation of our relationship started, and we just always remain in touch.

Formula 1 Testing in Bahrain - Day 2

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur managed Hamilton during his junior career (Photo: Getty)

‘And I thought that he would try to see what he was going to do. He was going to be an amazing team manager at some stage and progress to F1, but at the time he wasn’t interested in that.

‘It was really cool to see him step into the Alfa Romeo [now Sauber] team and then when he got the job at Ferrari, I was just so happy for him.

‘And I think just the start of the line, it really wouldn’t have happened without him [the move to Ferrari], so I’m really grateful and I’m really excited about the work that he’s doing there.’

Vasseur was appointed Ferrari team principal in 2023 and has been tasked with delivering the Scuderia’s first championship victory for 16 years.

Hamilton is enjoying his new Mercedes car (Photo: Getty)

The Frenchman will hope that Hamilton, the most successful driver in F1 history, can help the Italian giants achieve that goal, with the British sporting legend determined to win a record eight title.

Both Ferrari appear to have made great progress based on the results of pre-season, with Carlos Sainz and Leclerc setting the fastest times on day two and three of testing.

Mercedes also look in much better shape this time round, though Hamilton is wary that Max Verstappen and Red Bull are still very much the ones to beat.

‘It felt much more enjoyable to drive. We still have time to find,’ he said as quoted by BBC Sport.

‘It’s a good platform to work from, a much better car to start the season with. [But] Red Bull clearly are out in the distance.

‘This chapter is still not finished. I am still 100% focused on finishing on a high with this team and have absolutely faith in everything going on in the team – and we will try to close the gap to the Red Bull somehow.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, 
Twitter and Instagram.


MORE : Christian Horner discovers when he’ll learn his Red Bull fate


MORE : New Netflix series shows Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner at home amid allegations


MORE : Christian Horner dodges investigation question as Red Bull lead the way in F1 pre-season testing

General Sport