Toto Wolff is unlikely to harbour any serious grievances regarding Lewis Hamilton’s choice to switch from Mercedes to Ferrari in 2025.
The Austrian team principal admitted last Spring that he would hold ‘no grudge’ if the seven-time world champion sought machinery elsewhere capable of securing him an eighth World Championship.
Hamilton inked a two-year contract extension with the Silver Arrows last summer.
However, observing his team’s struggle to keep pace with back-to-back champions Red Bull during the latter stages of the season, the Briton decided to astonish the motorsport world by committing to drive for Ferrari in 2025.
This potential move was hinted at by Wolff at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last March.
With Mercedes poised for another frustrating year following the lacklustre debut of the W14, he remarked: “As a driver, nonetheless, if he wants to win another championship he needs to ensure he has the car.
“And if we cannot demonstrate that we are capable of providing him with a car in the next couple of years, then he needs to explore all options.
I don’t think he is contemplating it at this stage, but I will bear no grudge if that occurs in a year or two.”
Despite the two teams finishing just three points apart in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship, it was Ferrari who often appeared more likely to challenge Red Bull.
The Italian outfit secured seven pole positions to Mercedes’ one and concluded the year with arguably the swifter package.
Following Hamilton’s decision to sign his Ferrari contract, Wolff remained true to his word, issuing a dignified statement in response to Hamilton’s significant announcement.
“Lewis will always be an integral part of Mercedes motorsport history,” he stated.
“However, we knew our partnership would reach a natural conclusion at some point, and that day has now arrived.
“We accept Lewis’s decision to pursue a fresh challenge, and our prospects for the future are thrilling to contemplate.
“But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on racing to deliver a strong 2024.”
Hamilton will be eager to end his winless streak before concluding his iconic partnership with Mercedes.
The 39-year-old clinched six World Championship titles during his tenure with the Brackley-based outfit but has not stood atop the podium since the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP.