No truth that Lewis Hamilton quit Mercedes for Ferrari after driving W15 in the sim

Lewis Hamilton opted to leave Mercedes before he had driven their 2024 F1 car in the simulator

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8,…

Suggestions that Lewis Hamilton may have chosen to leave Mercedes because he was unhappy with their F1 2024 car are untrue.

Toto Wolff confirmed that Hamilton drove the W15 in the simulator for the first time on Friday.

That came 48 hours after Hamilton informed Wolff of his decision to join Ferrari next year, and 24 hours after it became worldwide news.

The significance for Mercedes is that there is no indication Hamilton was not pleased with the direction of this season’s new car.

Mercedes hope the W15 is a major step on from the cars from the past two years, which have left Hamilton at his lowest ebb and unable to win a grand prix.

The W15’s cockpit position is expected to change, solving one of Hamilton’s major gripes with last year’s car.

There is also reportedly no aerodynamic link between the 2023 and 2024 cars.

The gearbox is expected to be smaller and lighter.

But Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari in 2025 came before he jumped in the simulator for the first time, a crucial milestone in Mercedes’ preparation for the upcoming season.

“The car is being developed in the team with a lot of science and a lot of data,” team principal Wolff said.

“The driver gives us guidance of what he feels in the car and this is being dissected.

“This is then decided on whether it happens or not.

“We mustn’t underplay nor overplay the input of the driver and the development of a car.

“In terms of did we miss? No.

“Everything we are doing we are doing it with very consciousness and open eyes.”

Hamilton will spend one final season with Mercedes hoping that the W15 is the car to restore him to race-winning ways.

He will then head to Italy in 2025 in a stunning move that unites F1’s most successful driver with its most successful team.

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