Ex-Mercedes chief Norbert Haug “blown away” by Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari move

Ex-Mercedes boss Norbert Haug expected Lewis Hamilton to remain at the team "forever" prior to his surprise switch to Ferrari for 2025.

Norbert Haug pictured with Lewis Hamilton in 2008
Norbert Haug pictured with Lewis Hamilton in 2008

Former Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Norbert Haug has revealed he was “blown away” by Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari from 2025.

Hamilton shocked the F1 world when his sensational switch to Ferrari from Mercedes was announced earlier this month.

Haug spent over 20 years at Mercedes, and was responsible for bringing the German manufacturer into the sport as an engine supplier in the 1990s.

After a successful period as McLaren’s engine supplier, Mercedes entered F1 as a fully-fledged works outfit in 2010, taking over from Brawn GP.

Haug left his role and the company entirely at the end of 2012, just before the Mercedes F1 team started regularly challenging for wins.

Reflecting on Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes, Haug conceded he thought the seven-time world championship would stay at the team - even as a brand ambassador - “forever”

“If I had a bet on one thing, on a combination in Formula 1 that would last for all eternity, it would have been Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes,” Haug told Motorsport-Magazin.

"I was completely blown away. I would have sworn all my oaths that it would stay that way forever and that he will stay with the star as a brand ambassador or whatever afterwards.”

While Haug believes Max Verstappen is now the “fastest” in F1, Hamilton is more than just a very talented racing driver

"He's perfect for me,” he added. “I mean, what mark has he made on Formula 1? Why do people say that Formula 1 has a single superstar?

“Of course [Max] Verstappen is the fastest, he's maturing.

“But all the statements that Lewis makes, his appearances, his activities off the track, his fight for equal treatment - of both genders and colours. That's very remarkable."

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