How Lewis Hamilton’s returning ally played a role in Ferrari bombshell

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton arrives at the track ahead of media day in Saudi Arabia.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton arrives at the track.

Almost as soon as Lewis Hamilton told Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff that he was heading to Ferrari, his returning right-hand man Marc Hynes arrived in Brackley to make it official.

F1 2024 will be the final season of the iconic Hamilton-Mercedes pairing, which has delivered six World Championship titles for Hamilton, as part of the team that reeled off eight successive Constructors’ title wins between 2014-21.

But as of 2025, Hamilton will be a Ferrari driver, the dream move that has been talked about for years finally confirmed, Hamilton having signed a multi-year contract to move to Maranello.

Returning Lewis Hamilton ally delivers Mercedes the news

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Hamilton’s confidant and right-hand man Hynes is back on the scene ahead of F1 2024, their friendship stretching back to their days in the British junior racing categories, and his influence is already being felt once more.

According to, while Hamilton and Wolff were having their annual meeting at Wolff’s home in Oxford, where Hamilton caught the Mercedes boss totally off-guard by telling him he would join Ferrari for 2025, Hynes was arriving at Mercedes’ Brackley base to hand them the letter confirming Hamilton had activated his release clause. recommends

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Speaking to media including, Wolff reflected on this bombshell dropped by Hamilton in their meeting, admitting that the timing of their seven-time World Champion deciding to join Ferrari is what really took him by surprise.

“When we re-signed the contract with Lewis, we opted for shorter term,” Wolff said.

“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.”

Hamilton signed his new Mercedes contract in the summer of 2023, so while Wolff is not sure what triggered Hamilton to secure an exit so soon after, he said Hamilton’s reasoning was seeing this as his last chance to take on a different F1 career challenge.

“I cannot tell you exactly,” Wolff admitted in regards to Hamilton’s U-turn on his Mercedes future.

“I only know that we were very aligned when we went into the Christmas period [in] what we said in public and in the team.

“You need to ask Lewis why he changed his mind. How he framed it to me is perfectly understandable – he needed a new challenge, that he was looking for a different environment, and that it was maybe the last possibility to do something else.

“We’re big boys. We knew that, by signing a short-term contract, it could be of benefit for both sides.

“We couldn’t commit for a longer period and he’s taken the option to exit. So we totally respect that you can change your mind with different circumstances. Switching to Ferrari, maybe for the last peak in his career, [he’s] maybe rolling the dice a bit. I can follow that decision.”

Hamilton will find Charles Leclerc on the other side of the garage in 2025, the Monegasque driver having recently signed a new deal with Ferrari.

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