Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari shouldn’t weaken Mercedes by means of a brain drain, according to his contract.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest news story of the week continues to dominate the headlines as we head into another weekend, and more and more details about the intricacies of the deal are becoming known.
Before the second wave of F1 car launches begins, let’s catch up on all the F1 news from Thursday…
Lewis Hamilton has a ‘no-poaching’ clause in his contract
Whether or not some Mercedes personnel – Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer Pete Bonnington being an obvious candidate – might choose to follow Hamilton to Maranello next year, the decision will have to be made without any Hamilton involvement.
On Thursday, PlanetF1.com got confirmation from Mercedes that Hamilton’s contract includes a ‘no-poaching’ clause which prevents him from having any direct involvement in personnel joining other teams with his involvement.
While the revelation about such a deal would suggest that no other Mercedes staff will be moving to Maranello, the door is not completely closed for the likes of Bono, and another reported name in Andrew Shovlin, as they could still move across provided they get the green light from Mercedes – but Hamilton himself can have no direct involvement.
Speaking the day after Hamilton’s move was confirmed, team principal Toto Wolff was asked about a possible move of Bono and said he would speak with the engineer in the coming months.
“I think this is a discussion which everyone needs to have in the months to come,” Wolff told media, including PlanetF1.com
“And as much as I’ve spoken with Bono already, when I told him [about Hamilton’s move] he said, ‘Is it April the first?’ That’s something which we will discuss in the future.”
Christian Horner allegations – What effect might a Red Bull split have?
Ahead of Friday’s crunch meeting with Red Bull head honchos, the allegations surrounding Christian Horner this week have dominated the headlines.
But, with the 50-year-old proving so vital to the continued success of Red Bull over the past two decades, what effect might his departure have on the World Champions?
Just think about how Jeremy Clarkson’s exit from the BBC only really hurt the BBC…
Adrian Newey approaching 2024 Red Bull launch with ‘trepidation’
Appearing on Red Bull’s Talking Bull podcast, chief technical officer Adrian Newey admitted he’s heading into the launch and testing period for the new RB20 with “trepidation” as he admitted to feeling concerned about whether evolution of last year’s car will prove enough to stay at the front.
On top of that, the illustrious designer said he suspects that quite a few cars on the 2024 grid will bear a more than passing resemblance to the RB19.
“This year, from what I understand, a lot of our rivals have taken a good look this time,” he said.
“I suspect there’ll be quite a few cars that look very similar to our car.”
Sebastian Vettel’s GPDA future decided
With his F1 racing career (seemingly) over for good, Sebastian Vettel had kept a presence on the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association.
However, GPDA chairman Alex Wurz has told PlanetF1.com that Vettel has taken a step back from being an active director.
“Sebastian has stepped back in his active director role,” Wurz said. “But he remains of course a key person in the GPDA and GPDA history.
“We are always happy when he joins our debates.”
Silverstone signs new long-term deal for British GP
The last track on the 2024 F1 calendar not to have a deal extending beyond this year after last week’s confirmation of a new five-year deal for Suzuka, Silverstone has won a new 10-year contract to host the British Grand Prix until 2034 inclusive.