Former F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck has questioned how much support Lewis Hamilton will receive from Mercedes now that he has opted to move to Ferrari.
After joining in 2013, Hamilton will depart Mercedes next season for pastures new at Ferrari but in the meantime, he has a whole season to complete with the Silver Arrows.
Team boss Toto Wolff has previously stated they will continue to treat Hamilton fairly but Stuck has pondered whether that will really be the case.
Support question raised about Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
Knowing a driver is leaving is never an easy situation for a team to manage and with constructors starting to develop the following year’s car earlier and earlier, Mercedes will be limited in how much they can tell the Ferrari-bound Hamilton.
Stuck has also wondered whether Wolff is even still “behind” the driver.
“I see a very difficult 2024 season for Hamilton and Mercedes,” Stuck told Eurosport. “To what extent will Toto Wolff still be behind him? It is well known that the two are good friends.
“But to what extent will Hamilton still be supported in the coming months and be involved in the development for the coming years? Of course he’s taking secrets with him to Ferrari.
“If you announce the change at the end of a season – bang, boom, good. But of course you also have to plan for the long term.”
“First of all, Toto Wolff has to see who he can get. Who is on the market? And more importantly, who is a good fit for Mercedes?”
Hamilton’s surprise departure has also meant Mercedes must now find a new driver to fill the spot in 2025 and one name that has arisen more than most is 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli.
“So maybe they’ll take the chance and back a rookie like Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who has won everything recently,” Stuck proposed. “If it’s possible – why not? All doors are open at the moment. Wolff is clever enough to make the right decision.”
Antonelli will compete in F2 with PREMA this season having won 2023’s FRECA title.