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vasseur hamilton to ferrari gp2 series monaco 2016

Hamilton credits Vasseur for joining Ferrari

vasseur hamilton to ferrari gp2 series monaco 2016

Lewis Hamilton finally commented on the news that he will ditch Mercedes this season to join Ferrari, the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion crediting Fred Vasseur for the move he might not’ve made had the Frenchman not been leading the sport’s most famous team.

On 1 February, the F1 landscape exploded as Ferrari confirmed the signing of the Briton who will be 40 next year, to partner Charles Leclerc at the Italian team from 2025. The news defied all expectations, even Hamilton’s own words in the past suggesting he would end his career at Mercedes.

Two seasons of no Grand Prix victories to add to the record 103 he has scored with Mercedes-powered cars, 21 when he drove for McLaren, gave Hamilton the chance to trigger a departure clause which sees him change teams as he will do.

Why Vasseur? Because Hamilton drove for ART Grand Prix in the GP2 Series (now Formula 2) when Fred ran the team in the F1 feeder series of the time. Under The Frenchman’s watch, rising star Hamilton won the 2006 GP2 title. A season later he made his F1 debut with McLaren, and the rest – as they say – is history.

Hamilton: The hardest decision I’ve ever had to make

Why Lewis Hamilton's Move to Ferrari Could Have Fred Vasseur's Personal Bias Written All Over It Hamilton credits Vasseur for joining Ferrari

With Vasseur in charge of Ferrari since the start of 2022, Hamilton explained how the fact impacted his decision: “I’ve got a great relationship with Fred. Obviously, I raced for him in Formula 3 and we had amazing success in Formula 3 and also in GP2. That’s really where the foundation of our relationship started.”

“And we just always remained in touch,” Hamilton recalled.  I thought that he was going to be an amazing team manager at some stage and progress to Formula 1, but at the time he wasn’t interested in that.

“And it was really cool to see him step into the Alfa [Sauber] team. And then when he got the job at Ferrari, I was just so happy for him. And I think just the stars aligned. I think it really wouldn’t have happened without him. So I’m really grateful and really excited about the work that he’s doing there.”

As for the decision to depart Mercedes, Hamilton revealed to reporters in Bahrain: “Obviously in summer we signed and at that time I saw my future with Mercedes but an opportunity came up in the New Year and I decided to take it.

“It was obviously the hardest decision I think I’ve ever had to make. I’ve been with Mercedes for I think it’s like 26 years they’ve supported me and we’ve had an absolutely incredible journey together.

“We’ve created history within the sport and it’s something I take a lot of pride in and am very proud of what we’ve achieved. But I think ultimately I’m writing my story and I felt like it was time to start a new chapter,” added Hamilton.