Staff at the Mercedes F1 factory in Brackley have been called in for a meeting to confirm Lewis Hamilton’s departure, claims Sky Sports.
Before Hamilton’s sensational switch to Ferrari was confirmed, staff were seen arriving at the Mercedes headquarters in Brackley in the UK at which they were allegedly informed about Hamilton’s departure.
The rumour began via bombshell claims in Italian media on Wednesday night claiming Ferrari had convinced the seven-time World Champion to jump ship, with the rumours gathering serious momentum throughout Thursday.
Sky F1 report staff meeting to inform employees
Camping out at the factory in Brackley on Thursday, Sky Sports F1’s Rachel Brookes reported a meeting held at the factory at 2pm on Thursday clarified the situation to employees – including those who came in specifically despite not being rostered.
Hamilton is reported to have been in attendance at the meeting in order to thank the staff with whom he has won six titles since joining Mercedes at the end of 2012, while Toto Wolff is understood to have dialled in from his home in Monaco. Tech boss James Allison was also present.
“Staff here at the Mercedes Brackley base have just been told in a meeting that that is what’s happening,” Brooks said in a live report on Sky.
“The meeting lasted about 10 minutes or so, we saw the staff arriving and, within 10-14 minutes, they were leaving again – those that had come in specifically for that meeting today.
“They’ve been told that Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season. It is huge, huge news throughout motorsport. It always looked like he would end his career with Mercedes, they’ve backed him with so many initiatives on and off-track. But he will be leaving to wear the red of Ferrari.
“He drives Ferrari cars around his home in Monaco and now he will drive a Ferrari Formula 1 car on track as well.”
Lewis Hamilton switching to Ferrari for 2025 is in place of Carlos Sainz. Teammate Charles Leclerc was, last week, confirmed on a new deal that will see him remain racing in red next year.