Christian Horner on Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari move: ‘Everyone was surprised, probably even Mercedes’

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton in Ferrari colours after agreeing shock move from Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton makes shock move to Ferrari

Christian Horner has said that the whole F1 world was caught out by Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari and that includes his current team Mercedes.

For the past 10 years, it has been Red Bull and Mercedes battling against each other for the sport’s biggest accolades but the next few seasons could see a change in that with a number of teams lining up for a championship run.

One of those is Ferrari, who pulled off the scoop of the century by enticing seven-time World Champion Hamilton away from Brackley and to Maranello.

Christian Horner weighs in on Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari move

Horner was speaking at the launch of the RB20 in Milton Keynes and said that the move even caught the likes of Mercedes out.

“First of all I think everybody was surprised, even his existing team [Mercedes], about Lewis’ move to Ferrari,” he told media including PlanetF1.com.

“He’s obviously seen something there that he believes in that serves him better than staying where he is. I think for F1, a Lewis-Ferrari tie-up is really exciting.”

As for when Horner’s Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff found out, the Austrian said he was informed over coffee a day before the public announcement.

“When we re-signed the contract with Lewis, we opted for a shorter term,” Wolff said in the aftermath of the announcement,

“So the events are not a surprise, [but] maybe the timing. So what happened is that we got together for coffee in my place in Oxford, and him returning to the factory, and he said to me he’d decided to race for Ferrari in 2025.

“That was basically it, we had a good hour of conversation and… this is where we are.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Lewis Hamilton’s shock move leaves Mercedes with incredibly daunting decision

Revealed: The remarkable 36-hour timeline behind Lewis Hamilton’s shock Ferrari move

Horner’s future is less assured as he was speaking whilst under investigation for alleged inappropriate behaviour. The 50-year-old denies all claims but admitted it was a “distraction” ahead of the new season.

“Inevitably there has been a distraction but the team are very together,” he said. “Everybody’s focused on the season ahead. It’s been very much business as normal. The support has been fantastic.”

“Obviously, my focus is very much on the season ahead. It has been business as normal.

“There is an investigation which I am working with fully so that is very much going on in the background whilst preparing for the season ahead.”

Read next: Christian Horner admits to pre-season ‘distraction’ with Red Bull investigation ongoing