Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that he’s already spoken to Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer, Peter Bonnington (Bono), following the driver’s announcement that he’s joining Ferrari in 2025.
2024 will be Hamilton’s 12th and final campaign with the Silver Arrows, although his ties to the German manufacturer date back to when he was just 13 years old.
Hamilton owes an incredible amount to Mercedes and vice versa, with the duo being the most successful partnership in the history of Formula 1.
However, the seven-time World Champion believes that it’s time to change teams one last team, before he calls it a day on his career.
Racing for Ferrari is something very few drivers get the privilege of doing and Hamilton has admitted in the past that it’s something he’d love to do one day.
That day will come next year, as part of a “two-year” deal with the Maranello-based team which will see him replace Carlos Sainz.
Being a multi-year contract, it does mean Hamilton will enter the new power unit regulations in red in 2026.
The big question though, is who will follow the 39-year-old from Mercedes to Ferrari?
Mercedes’ head of track performance Riccardo Musconi is rumoured to be interested in following the 103-time race winner to Maranello, whilst Wolff has already held talks with Hamilton’s race engineer.
Hamilton has worked with Bono ever since he joined the Brackley-based side in 2013, mean six of his seven titles have been claimed with the same race engineer in his ear.
Given how long they’ve worked together, some wonder whether Bono could follow Hamilton out of the Mercedes exit door, something which will be discussed “in the future”.
Comically, when Wolff first informed Bono of 2024 being Hamilton’s last season with Mercedes, the race engineer questioned if it was April fools’ day.
“I think this is a discussion that everyone will have to have in the coming months,” Wolff explained to AUTOhebdo.
“I’ve already spoken to Bono. When I told him about [Lewis Hamilton’s departure for Ferrari], he asked me: ‘Is it April 1st?’.
“This is something we will discuss in the future.”