Lewis Hamilton ‘not settled’ with W15 and ‘mentally already at Ferrari’, claims David Coulthard

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton wipes his brown on the Bahrain 2023 grid with a prominent Ferrari badge alongside him.

Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of 2024.

It has been a frustrating start to the season for Lewis Hamilton, who 13-time grands prix winner David Coulthard said “mentally” already seems to be at Ferrari.

Hamilton is into his final campaign as a Mercedes driver, the F1 2024 season set to bring the curtain down on a driver and team combination which has achieved record-breaking success, Hamilton claiming six World Championship titles with the team that won eight Constructors’ crowns in a row between 2013-21.

Has Lewis Hamilton already checked out at Mercedes?

As of 2025, Hamilton will be a Ferrari driver, with news of that shock move to come emerging before this current campaign had even got underway.

Hamilton had spoken of 100 per cent commitment to this last year with Mercedes and going out on a high, but it has been a rough opening two rounds for the seven-time World Champion who has lost out to team-mate George Russell in qualifying and on race day at the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian GPs.

Hamilton urged his team to “get on top of” the bouncing issues which have plagued them since the start of the ground effect era and which he felt complicated their Saudi Arabian GP, though with Russell leading the way early on in this Mercedes intra-team battle, Coulthard said it looks like Hamilton’s mind is already focused on the Ferrari chapter to come.

“He’s just not been settled with this car,” said Coulthard on Channel 4.

“And you can tell, you know, George is just honing the lap time right now and you can feel that Lewis is on the backfoot.

“What we do know though, if he does find a window of performance, then you know he will deliver.

“But right now, it’s looking like his decision to head off to Ferrari, mentally, he is already there.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

10 biggest sports deals in history: Where does Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari salary rank?

Your questions answered: All you need to know about Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari move

Mercedes have been forced to watch on as Red Bull dominate F1’s ground effect era, Max Verstappen having headed a pair of Red Bull 1-2 finishes to start the 2024 campaign and reaffirm dominant status for this driver and team pairing.

And Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admits they have been “missing” something over these years when it comes to unlocking the true potential of their car, though Hamilton and Russell will be encouraged to hear that Wolff is certain they can buck this trend, as soon even as the next round in Australia.

“It’s been two and a half years that we are chasing this fundamental change,” Wolff stated.

“It’s been two years that there is something we need to spot, and that’s the thing to unlock. We have just got to work.

“It’s not through lack of trying. We’ve pushed so hard and we’re going to give it a massive, massive go now in the next week, with more data to understand.

“We are going to come back to Melbourne strong. We are on a mission on this one. And I am 100 per cent sure that we are going to unlock that performance gap.”

Mercedes sit P4 in the early F1 2024 Constructors’ Championship standings, already 61 points behind Red Bull.

Read next: Christian Horner makes intriguing admission over Max Verstappen to Mercedes talk