Lewis Hamilton: Ferrari move ‘wouldn’t have happened’ without Fred Vasseur

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton with Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur.

Lewis Hamilton will link up with his former ART team boss in Fred Vasseur at Ferrari in 2025.

Lewis Hamilton has said his signing for Ferrari “wouldn’t have happened” without the relationship he has with team principal Fred Vasseur.

The seven-time World Champion has already raced for Vasseur in the junior categories, with Hamilton having had immense success under Vasseur’s tutelage in F3 and GP2 [now F2] on his way to the grid.

The two have remained in contact throughout his time in Formula 1 and, now he has ascended to being team principal of Ferrari, the link they already have has been a key factor in him deciding to move to the Scuderia.

Lewis Hamilton hails Fred Vasseur link in making Ferrari move

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

While Hamilton’s move to Ferrari is widely reported to have been a result of a significant push from Ferrari chairman John Elkann to try and bring him to the team, another factor in his favour was the long-standing relationship he has with Vasseur.

Having raced with him nearer the beginning of his career, Hamilton will once again link up with Vasseur at the Scuderia from 2025, in the first time he has driven in Formula 1 without Mercedes power – and his influence was key within that.

“I’ve got a great relationship with Fred,” Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com in Bahrain.

“Obviously, I raced with him in Formula 3 and we had amazing success in Formula 3 and also in GP2.

“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 Formula 1 but, at the time, he wasn’t interested in that.

“And it was really cool to see him step into the Alfa team, and then when he got the job at Ferrari, I was just so happy for him, and I think just the stars aligned.

“It really wouldn’t have happened without him, so I’m really grateful and really excited about the work that he’s doing there.”

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Expanding more on the circumstances surrounding the move coming about, Hamilton had signed a fresh contract extension with Mercedes last summer, but will leave at the end of the season to head to Ferrari.

While he spoke of his pride in his long association with the Silver Arrows, he feels he’s ready for a “new chapter” come next season.

“Obviously, in summer, we signed and obviously I, at that time, saw my future with Mercedes, but an opportunity came up in the new year and I decided to take it,” Hamilton revealed.

“I feel like it was obviously the hardest decision I think I’ve ever had to make. I’ve been with Mercedes for, I think it’s 26 years they’ve supported me, and we’ve had an absolutely incredible journey together.

“We’ve created history within the sport and it’s something that I take a lot of pride in, [I’m] very proud of what we’ve achieved.

“But I think, ultimately, I’m writing my story, and I felt like this would be time start a new chapter.”

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