June 9, 2024

Lewis Hamilton has left one former F1 team principal feeling rather silly after some premature comments.


Lewis Hamilton has made a perfect gamble with his Ferrari move.


With Ferrari trending towards World Championship contention and Lewis Hamilton set to join the Italian constructor in 2025, things are looking up for the seven-time world champion. This will leave former Haas team principal Guenther Steiner feeling quite silly after he suggested that the Brit would be forced to see out his career with Mercedes.


Hamilton’s move came as a shock to the F1 world with the move to Ferrari announced on the first day of February, fewer than 12 months after he signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes.


Speaking last year about Hamilton’s choices outside of the Silver Arrows, Steiner was far from enthusiastic and felt that he had no choice but to stay at Toto Wolff’s outfit: “Lewis will stay at Mercedes until the end of his career. What other opportunities are out there for him? Think about that one. What other options are around? I don’t think he has many.


“He is at a stage where he is so close [to the end of his career] that doing anything different and getting used to something else would not be very positive for him. He is not happy this year because he hasn’t won a race. But he has had a lot of good years with Mercedes so he needs to stick with the people who made him.”


Steiner’s comments, in retrospect, look foolish. Fred Vasseur moved mountains to bring the seven-time world champion – with whom he worked during the Brit’s junior career at ART Grand Prix – to Maranello for 2025 and beyond. Now, with Ferrari on the rise, Hamilton’s gamble looks set to pay off in bounds


Guenther Steiner’s comments now look foolish in retrospect.


Hamilton even admitted ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix that Vasseur was directly involved in his contract talks. “Yes, he is the boss and John Elkann, with whom I have excellent contacts, he supported me enormously,” he said. “With these two, Fred and John, we worked very closely together.”


While Hamilton has plenty to be excited about when he joins forces with Vasseur next season, his final campaign with Mercedes hasn’t rolled off to a perfect start. The 103-time Grand Prix winner has a best finish of P6 after eight races in 2024 and sits 12 points behind team-mate George Russell in the standings.



Despite that, however, Hamilton believes the team are trending in the right direction. Fantasising about a return to the podium, he said: “I don’t think it’s far away. We’ve got the upgrade… both of the cars have the upgrade this weekend so I’m looking forward to seeing how that feels actually on track.”

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