Published On: Sat, Feb 3rd, 2024
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Toto Wolff scratching his head as Mercedes boss discusses Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari | F1 | Sport


Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has admitted that the timing of Lewis Hamilton’s U-turn on remaining with the Silver Arrows came as a shock and admits the Brit had been certain his future was with the Silver Arrows pre-Christmas. Hamilton signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes in the summer, tying him down for the 2024 and 2025 seasons – only to use a break clause in the agreement by accepting an offer from Ferrari.

The seven-time world champion will drive for Mercedes in 2024 before ending a glittering 11-year stay at the end of the 2024 campaign. He will then link up with Charles Leclerc at Mercedes.

On Thursday, Hamilton said it was the right time to seek a new challenge. That is despite him previously turning down an offer from Ferrari midway through last year and penning a fresh contract at Mercedes.

Wolff insists that Hamilton joining Ferrari is not a surprise – the driver has made no secret of his desire to one day drive for the Scuderia team. However, the Austrian has questioned the timing of the U-turn and claims before the festive period, the pair were very much on the same page.

“The events are not a surprise – maybe the timing. We got together for coffee at my place in Oxford [on Wednesday] and he said to me that he has decided to race for Ferrari in 2025,” Wolff said.

“That was basically it. We had a good hour of conversation and this is where we are. I cannot tell you [what has changed]. I can only tell you that we were very aligned when we went into the Christmas period.

“You need to ask Lewis why he changed his mind. How he framed it to me was perfectly understandable, that he needed a new challenge and that he was looking for a different environment and that it was maybe the last possibility to do something else.

“He has taken the option to exit. He is maybe rolling the dice a bit.”



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