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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton's Mercedes contract features so-called 'non-poaching' clause

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes contract features a so-called 'non-poaching' clause that is set to prevent him from taking key personnel with him to Ferrari.

Bonnington Hamilton
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To news overview © FIA Pool Image for Editorial Use

Hamilton stunned the F1 world last week with the news that he was going to leave Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season for a multi-year Ferrari contract to partner Charles Leclerc from 2025.

The news led to speculation that Hamilton's long-time race engineer Peter Bonnington could follow the seven-time World Champion to Italy, with Team Principal Toto Wolff responding to a question from RacingNews365 indicating that the topic would be "a discussion which everyone needs to have in the months to come."

Drivers taking engineers and other senior technical personnel with them when they change teams is not uncommon, with Michael Schumacher famously taking key Benetton engineers Ross Brawn and Rory Bryne with him to Ferrari in 1996.

However, in the two-year contract Hamilton signed last summer, a so-called 'non-poaching' clause was added to prevent the departure of engineers, a team spokesperson has confirmed to RacingNews365.

Officially termed as a 'non-solicitation' clause, Hamilton cannot solicit any team member, including Bonnington, to go with him to Ferrari.

The two have worked together since Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013, with Bonnington guiding Hamilton to 81 of his 82 Grand Prix wins with the team and all six of his titles.

His voice has become one of the most recognisable of all race engineers owing to his calls of 'It's Hammertime' and 'Get in there, Lewis!', with the only race win at Mercedes Bonnington has missed being the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, while he also missed the 2022 Austrian GP, where Hamilton finished third.

Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari RN365 News dossier

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