Hamilton: Kallenius just as passionate as Zetsche about F1

Lewis Hamilton is sure there will be no change with his team despite Mercedes Chairman of the Board Dieter Zetsche stepping down and handing the position over to current Head of Mercedes-Benz cars Ula Kallenius.

But Hamilton, who has known the pair since his teens, is convinced that Mercedes will remain as committed to the Silver Arrows F1 programme as Zetsche was.

Kallenius is no stranger to the paddock or Hamilton for that matter, “I’ve known Ula since I was maybe 14. I’ve seen his progression and what he helped build at HPP and his great input into the board as it is today.”

Comparing Kallenius to Zetsche, the four times F1 World Champion said, “He’s just as passionate and a massive racing fan, so I don’t see anything shifting.”

With regards to the latest development in Stuttgart, Hamilton said, “That’s something that I’ve known for a long, long time was going to happen.”

“Dieter and his contribution to F1 and Mercedes-Benz, and his heavy investment in F1, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for his and the board’s belief in what we are doing together.”

“Board members can often be super-corporate and not passionate, but those guys are so passionate, it’s really incredible. They text me after every race, and often before races. They turn up at a lot of the races as a team.”

“I know that they’re texting Toto [Wolff], for example, non-stop throughout the race. They’re on the edge of their seats, and they’re super-invested. That’s a great thing.”

“Ultimately Dieter’s really that figurehead. He’s the one that supported me when I was 13. He’s the big, big guy who said ‘OK, let’s do ahead with it.’ So I’ve always appreciated his support all these years, and he’s someone that I truly admire,” added Hamilton.