Ferrari boss recounts ‘most difficult’ call with Toto Wolff around Lewis Hamilton move

Henry Valantine
Toto Wolff and Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur

Toto Wolff and Fred Vasseur in a press conference.

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur admitted calling Carlos Sainz to inform him of Lewis Hamilton’s move to the Scuderia was far from easy, but “one of the most difficult” calls was the one he made to his Mercedes counterpart, Toto Wolff.

Vasseur and Wolff are firm friends but the call to inform him that the seven-time World Champion would be moving to Maranello from 2025 would likely have come as a shock, though Wolff himself has been diplomatic about the move since it was announced.

Sainz admitted his surprise at finding out Hamilton would be moving to the team to replace him for 2025, though he said he had several weeks to “digest” the news before it became public knowledge.

Fred Vasseur gives Ferrari insight into Lewis Hamilton move

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Addressing the move when speaking at the launch of the Ferrari SF-24 on Tuesday, the Scuderia team boss was asked more about how the move for Hamilton came about – and how Sainz was informed of the decision to not renew his contract for 2025, in favour of the current Mercedes driver.

“As you can imagine, it was not the easiest call of my life,” Vasseur said to media including of his first contact with Sainz surrounding Hamilton’s move, before adding: “One of the most difficult was the one with Toto!”

On Sainz and his performances however, Vasseur has no doubts about the Spaniard’s commitment to Ferrari for the rest of the season – saying he will be “fully supporting” of his driver in return in his final season with the Scuderia.

“I’m fully convinced that [Sainz] is a very professional driver, that he understands that we have a long season in front of us, that it’s a huge opportunity,” Vasseur added.

“And I think it’s also a dream to be in this situation, to have the team behind him. I mean, we had a long discussion that as you can imagine, I will be fully supporting with Carlos.

“He is fully committed and we know that we have to do the job together. We are together, we are professional.” recommends

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“You know that we have a good relationship for now a bit more than 20 years,” Vasseur said of himself and Hamilton.

“We were always in contact to speak about different things and I think it came naturally. I don’t know what was this easy for what was not, but it came like this, step by step.”

When he was asked if the move was ‘unfair’ on Sainz, given he has rarely put a foot wrong at Ferrari and put up a stern challenge to Charles Leclerc on the other side of the garage, Vasseur insisted the move was more about the opportunity to sign the seven-time World Champion, rather than a slight against the Spaniard.

“I don’t know if [unfair] is the right word because I think for the team, the opportunity of Lewis is something that you have to consider in any case,” he responded.

“He is the biggest promise of the field, he is the guy with the biggest experience and it’s a huge opportunity for us. It has nothing to do with Carlos.

“Carlos did a great job last year, I’m sure that he will do a great job next year, that he’s very professional.

“We have a very good personal relationship, but it’s like it is and we have to be focused on the future.”

Read next: Carlos Sainz reacts to ‘surprise’ Lewis Hamilton Ferrari move and sets timeline for 2025 seat choice