Formula 1

Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur Opens Up About “Difficult” Talks with Toto Wolff Over Lewis Hamilton Signing

Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, shares insights into the challenging conversations he had with Toto Wolff regarding Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, emphasizing the complexities involved in the decision-making process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vasseur expressed satisfaction over Hamilton joining Ferrari but faced tough conversations with Sainz and Wolff.
  • Hamilton’s unexpected move necessitated Sainz’s departure, highlighting the significant implications for Ferrari’s lineup.
  • Despite the difficult decision, Vasseur sees Hamilton’s arrival as a substantial opportunity for Ferrari.

In a recent press briefing, Fred Vasseur, Ferrari’s principal, delved into the intricacies surrounding Lewis Hamilton’s anticipated transition to the Italian team in 2025. The move, which caught many by surprise, triggered a cascade of changes within the F1 community, particularly affecting Carlos Sainz, the departing driver.

Vasseur recounted the challenging discussions he had with both Sainz and Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal. The decision to sign Hamilton meant displacing Sainz, a move Vasseur didn’t take lightly. Describing his conversation with Wolff as “one of the most difficult” moments, Vasseur highlighted the emotional weight and complexities inherent in high-stakes negotiations in Formula 1.

The choice to prioritize Hamilton over Sainz, despite the latter’s commendable performance alongside Charles Leclerc, stemmed from Hamilton’s unmatched experience and track record. Vasseur acknowledged the tough nature of the decision but stressed the strategic significance of having a driver of Hamilton’s caliber. He remarked:

“As you can imagine, it was not the easiest call of my life. One of the most difficult was the one with Toto [Wolff].

“But I’m fully convinced that he’s a very professional driver, that he understands that we have a long season in front of us, that it’s a huge opportunity.”

Addressing Sainz’s departure, Vasseur added:

“Unfair, I don’t know if it’s the right word, because that I think for the team, the opportunity of Lewis [Hamilton], it’s something that you have to consider, in any case, that he is the biggest paramount of the field. He’s the guy with the biggest experience. And it’s a huge opportunity for us. It has nothing to do with Carlos. Carlos did a great job last year. I’m sure that he will do a great job next year.”

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