Why Mercedes’ F1 reign won’t end with Hamilton’s exit

Amidst speculation that Lewis Hamilton’s departure for Ferrari in 2025 signals a weakening of Mercedes’ Formula 1 prowess, racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck offers a confident counter-narrative. The potential exodus of top talent alongside Hamilton, including race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington, has fueled discussions about Mercedes’ future competitiveness.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff acknowledges the situation’s gravity, stating, “I think this is a discussion which everyone needs to have in the months to come,” when questioned about the possibility of Bonnington following Hamilton to Maranello. This concern is compounded by the earlier loss of performance engineer Loic Serra to Ferrari, with rumors that he, alongside another Hamilton engineer, Riccardo Musconi, will commence work at Maranello in sync with Hamilton’s arrival.

Yet, the narrative of Mercedes’ decline is firmly rejected by Stuck, who asserts, “I don’t assume that.” Stuck’s confidence in Mercedes stems from his belief in the team’s foundational strength and independence from any single individual’s influence. “Mercedes is a team at which nothing depends on a single person,” he elaborates, indicating that the internal transfer of knowledge among engineers mitigates the impact of individual departures. “The knowledge of the engineers is known in-house so that a change doesn’t matter. I don’t see that as a problem.”

Stuck acknowledges Hamilton’s potential to benefit from bringing familiar faces to Ferrari but remains bullish about Mercedes’ capacity to remain a top contender. He emphasizes, “This will certainly help Hamilton, but Mercedes still has top people in its ranks and will find more. These changes happen all the time,” highlighting the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of Formula 1 teams and their rosters.

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