Reports had suggested that Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari would allow him to bring Mercedes staff with him – but PlanetF1.com can confirm this is incorrect.
Hamilton will switch from Brackley to Maranello in 2025 and having been a staple at the Silver Arrows for over a decade, he has understandably built some strong relationships with the Mercedes staff.
But as to whether those staff will follow Hamilton to Ferrari, a ‘no-poaching’ clause in the driver’s contract will prevent them from doing that.
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes contract detail comes to light
Hamilton put pen to paper on a reported two-year deal with Ferrari and almost as soon as it had been announced, speculation began as to which Mercedes staff would follow him.
His long-time race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington was the obvious rumour but PlanetF1.com can confirm there is a ‘no-poaching’ clause in Hamilton’s deal that would prevent the driver directly approaching his soon-to-be former colleagues.
The information was initially reported by Motorsport Italia but PlanetF1.com received confirmation from Mercedes that the existence of such a clause was “accurate.”
These types of stipulations tend to be reserved for those in management positions but have been used in the past before. Sebastian Vettel reportedly had such a deal in his final Red Bull contract, meaning that when he moved to Ferrari in 2015, he was unable to bring race engineer Guillaume ‘Rocky’ Rocquelin with him.
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 PlametF1.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.”