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Hamilton's Silverstone Swan Song with Wolff

Wolff, Hamilton Face Emotional Goodbye at Silverstone

07/07/2024

Wolff and Hamilton prepare for a poignant final race together at Silverstone.

After what could be described as an extraordinarily long union, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes F1 now face the challenge of navigating their separation. On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Team Principal Toto Wolff believes the bond he and his team have cultivated with the seven-time champion will endure for centuries.

This weekend’s race will mark Hamilton’s final appearance for Mercedes at Silverstone, as his impending switch to Ferrari at season’s end draws ever closer. Both he and Wolff joined the team in 2013, achieving unparalleled success, with Hamilton securing six titles and Mercedes clinching eight constructors’ championships.

What is most notable, however, is the closeness they’ve developed over these 12 seasons; beyond professional camaraderie, they’ve forged an exceptionally unusual bond between driver and director.

Thus, it’s no surprise that Hamilton’s pre-season announcement of his departure was a painful moment for Wolff.

“I was surprised by the timing when he told me; I didn’t see it coming,” Wolff reaffirms.

“It did hurt a bit. Time has been a healer, and now, almost mid-season, we think about it no more.”

“It’s almost as if we were an old couple working on it; we have to actively ensure the relationship works well, and I think we’re doing that from both sides.”

“My mantra is to play hard, forgive quickly, and apologise when you’re wrong. So, it hasn’t changed my feelings for him as a friend because I forgive quickly. My personal relationship with him will be much less affected than one might think.”

“Had you asked me when Lewis said he was leaving how the year would go, it could have been awkward. But since the car launch, it hasn’t been awkward at all. He has greatly contributed to the team’s resurgence. The dynamics and spirit within the team are high.”

Speculation is rife about the reasons behind Hamilton’s decision to end his tenure at Mercedes, with the team’s poor performances since 2022 seen as a contributing factor. Yet, Wolff does not dwell on what might have been if Mercedes had shown their current form back in late 2023.

“I never have regrets. Things happen for a reason, people make decisions for better or for worse. I always look at opportunities, even if they come as surprises. We all here relish the challenge of something new.”

“I don’t see this as a goodbye from the Mercedes family, as he will always be part of it, our legacy and our history, something we can all be proud of.”

So, it’s a farewell for Hamilton at Silverstone with the Silver Arrows before a return in Ferrari red and its prancing horse next season. A poignant moment for both Mercedes and Hamilton but as Wolff concedes, nothing like the farewell at the season’s end.

“Will it be an emotional race at Silverstone? I can’t say. If he wins, most certainly. But I think it will be an emotional race for the team and Lewis regardless. It won’t be easy, but it will be much harder after the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.”

Hamilton's Silverstone Swan Song with Wolff

Hamilton’s Silverstone Swan Song with Wolff Hamilton’s Silverstone Swan Song with Wolff

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