Zhou Guanyu Discusses Hamilton's 'Shocking' Move Away From Mercedes

F1
by Adam OndrikFriday, 09 February 2024 at 02:00
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Sauber's Zhou Guanyu shared his opinion on Lewis Hamilton's exit from Mercedes to end his career with the red.
Hamilton's move to Ferrari is one of the biggest news stories in Formula 1 in recent years. The unimaginable is happening, and we will see the seven-time World Champion in the red.
The most successful driver in the history of the sport leaves Mercedes, his long-term team, his family to join the most successful team in the history of F1 in pursuit of his eighth title. No wonder almost no one believed it. As reported by Racingnews365, Zhou said:

"I didn't check that much [the reaction to Hamilton’s news in China], but people probably didn’t believe it, or 90 percent of the people [didn’t believe it] when rumors came out."

While Ferrari and Hamilton managed to keep this a secret, Zhou Guanyu revealed he knew about the contract prior to the official announcement.

"I know Marc, which is his [Hamilton’s] kind of management together with me. I texted 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."

While drivers like Zhou or Pierre Gasly knew about the move prior to the announcement, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff learned about it quite late and admitted he didn't expect it. The Chinese driver continued:

"But I think the people back there [at Mercedes], it’s going to be even more shocking. 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."

An unusual aspect of this announcement is that Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton made it a year earlier and now Ferrari still has to work with Carlos Sainz for one more season. And the 39-year-old still has to driver for Mercedes knowing he will be leaving no matter what. That is quite an awkward situation.
Usually, we start getting announcements like these earliest during the summer break, but more often, towards the end of the season and during the winter break after the last race of the season. Zhou added:

"People love to be retiring as a Ferrari driver, especially the World Champions but he announced it at the beginning of this season, which is still another season to go with his team, which is certainly a shock."