“It really wouldn’t have happened without him” — Hamilton on Vasseur’s role in Ferrari F1 move

Lewis Hamilton sitting in his Mercedes F1 car
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Lewis Hamilton has revealed that Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur was integral to the seven-time world champion switching to the Italian team.

The British driver will drive alongside Charles Leclerc at Ferrari from 2025 onwards.

In a media session in Bahrain on Friday, Hamilton said, “I think it really wouldn’t have happened without him (Vasseur). “So I’m really grateful and really excited about the work that he’s doing there.”

Hamilton formed a formidable partnership with the Frenchman in his junior career, winning the Formula 3 Euro Series and GP2 back-to-back titles.

The pair remained in contact ever since despite competing against each other in Formula 1.

The 39-year-old said: “I’ve got a great relationship with Fred. I raced for him in Formula 3, and we had amazing success in Formula 3 and also in GP2. 

“And that’s really where the foundation of our relationship started, and we just always remained in touch. 

“I thought that he was going to be an amazing team manager at some stage and progress to form one, but at the time, he wasn’t interested in that, and it was really cool to see him step into the Alfa [Romeo] team. 

“And then when he got the job at Ferrari, I was just so happy for him, and I think just the stars aligned.”

Mercedes has supported Hamilton throughout his career, from karting up to Formula 1, and he has delivered six world titles for the works team.

Hamilton is suffering the longest winless streak of his career, with his last victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021.

The British driver reaffirmed that he is entirely focused on 2024 with Mercedes despite switching to Ferrari for next season. 

Lewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes at the Bahrain circuit
Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

“I’m still 100% focused on delivering from this team this year and trying to finish on a high. That’s a big, big goal for me and the team and I have absolute faith in everyone in the team and what we’ve done. 

“So far, I think it is great. So I really hope that we are somehow able to close the gaps of the Red Bulls somehow.”

Hamilton explained he felt it was the right time to mark a new beginning as he celebrates his 40th birthday next year.

“But an opportunity came up in the new year, and I decided to take it. I feel like it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.

“I’ve been with Mercedes for 26 years. They’ve supported me, and we’ve had an incredible, absolutely incredible journey together.

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