Toto Wolff Responds To Hamilton's Departure From Mercedes

F1
by Adam OndrikFriday, 02 February 2024 at 00:00
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The team principal of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, gave an official statement in relation to Lewis Hamilton's departure from his team.
Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff joined the Mercedes F1 team around the same time - ahead of the season 2013. Together, they achieved incredible success over the course of the last 11 seasons.
While F1 drivers tend to jump back and forth between different teams based on different reasons, Hamilton stayed loyal to Silver Arrows for a very long time.
In fact, Lewis Hamilton will break Michael Schumacher's record for the longest stay with a single team at the end of 2024, when he will conclude his 12th season with the German team.
When he signed another two-year contract extension with Mercedes last year, it seemed the seven-time World Champion would finish his career with the team.
However, shocking news today revealed that the 39-year-old would be departing the team and joining Ferrari ahead of 2025. Mercedes team principal said:

"In terms of a team-driver pairing, our relationship with Lewis has become the most successful the sport has seen, and that’s something we can look back on with pride; Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history."

It was speculated that Toto Wolff wasn't really fully aware of the circumstances and probably learned about Hamilton's contract with Ferrari very late as he didn't personally attend the meeting at Mercedes headquarters.

"However, we knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come."

While it was to be expected Hamilton would leave Mercedes one day, it perhaps wasn't expected that it would be to join another team. Nevertheless, Wolff accepts Hamilton's decision.

"We accept Lewis’s decision to seek a fresh challenge, and our opportunities for the future are exciting to contemplate."

Wolff asserted that the team still has one more season together with the seven-time World Champion and will be doing their best to conclude their collaboration on a high.

"But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on going racing to deliver a strong 2024."