Stake F1’s Zhou Guanyu revealed how he picked up insider information that Lewis Hamilton was heading for Ferrari.
In one of the biggest Formula 1 driver moves of all-time, it has been confirmed that Hamilton will leave Mercedes, the team he has raced for since 2013, to join rivals Ferrari as of the 2025 campaign.
It was an announcement which came out of the blue for much of the F1 community, but not for Zhou, who already found out the speculation was true thanks to his shared Hamilton contact.
Zhou Guanyu shares Lewis Hamilton manager and got the scoop
Hamilton recently brought right-hand man Marc Hynes back into his management fold, who was reportedly responsible for delivering confirmation to Mercedes at their Brackley base that Hamilton had activated his release clause in order to sign with Ferrari. Hynes also serves as Zhou’s manager.
Therefore, Zhou had the perfect contact to reach out to and ask whether there was any truth to the Hamilton-Ferrari rumours that he saw had popped up.
“I know Marc, which is his [Hamilton’s] kind of management together with me,” Zhou told RacingNews365.com.
“I text him before it, so I knew he was signing, it was a fact. I didn’t tell anyone, but I was really shocked by the news.”
Zhou acknowledges the folk at Mercedes will be in greater shock though, team principal Toto Wolff having confirmed to media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher that he was not expecting this bombshell when he and Hamilton met at Wolff’s home in Oxford for their annual meet-up.
But, Zhou can see why Hamilton would want to join Ferrari, the team where Zhou formerly served as a junior driver, and a team Hamilton has described as a “childhood dream” to race for.
“But I think the people back there [at Mercedes], it’s going to be even more shocking,” Zhou continued. “I think as a driver, especially Lewis, I think he is seeing himself to retire as a Ferrari driver.
“It’s obviously very nice to have. I don’t blame him for having this kind of feeling.”
Hamilton will find himself alongside Charles Leclerc in Ferrari red, the Monegasque racer having agreed a new deal with the team shortly before Hamilton’s shock signature was announced.
That leaves Carlos Sainz, the only non-Red Bull grands prix winner of 2023, in need of a new team to call home come 2025.