discussed Lewis Hamilton
's change of teams in an interview after the recent launch of Williams
's 2024 challenger.
Williams just launched FW46 - their 2024 car
. However, it did not grab headlines as much as it would have otherwise because of the shocking news we are now getting every other day.
One of these unexpected news was Lewis Hamilton leaving Silver Arrows at the end of the season 2024 to join Ferrari
. Vowles had some time to answer questions from the media after the launch, and he said:
"Lewis’s [switch] – the timing came as a surprise to me. His want and desire to be in a Ferrari at some point in his career, no, I think most world champions have either been there or have a desire to be there."
Hamilton's announcement came as a surprise even to the team principal of Mercedes
, Toto Wolff
. It was mainly because the seven-time World Champion signed a new deal for seasons 2024-2025 just last year.
The seasons for which he signed have not even begun, and the 39-year-old has already made a decision to leave the team. Moreover, it was announced one year prior to his exit,
This means he will still have to drive for Mercedes for 24 more Grand Prix weekends with all of his team knowing that he will leave them eventually, no matter what happens.
But the fact that he wants to go to Ferrari
alone did not surprise Vowles because, as Sebastian Vettel
said - everyone is a Ferrari fan, even if they say they are not and drive for Mercedes are a Ferrari fan.
"It’s a force of nature, it is still the most successful team in Formula 1. It is, and that can’t be ignored."
Hamilton has been an essential part of Mercedes' success. Therefore, the Williams team principal believes him leaving the team will be a loss for the German team in the short term. On the other hand, he added he expects things to get better in long-term:
"It’s not good for Mercedes short-term. But, actually, I think you’re gonna see they’re going to be absolutely fine on where they get to on drivers, and they’ll come back stronger as a result. So, ultimately, it’s a good thing all around in time."