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Lewis Hamilton

Verstappen warns Hamilton of 'awkward' Mercedes goodbye

Hamilton will leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the season and Verstappen believes the timing of the announcement could cause issues.

Verstappen Hamilton
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Reigning F1 World Champion Max Verstappen believes rival Lewis Hamilton's switch to Ferrari for 2025 leaves the Briton with an "awkward" situation at Mercedes.

Hamilton's move to Maranello for next season has already been announced despite having an entire campaign to complete beforehand.

It will bring an end to a 12-year relationship with the Brackley-based outfit and a career-long association with Mercedes and suggesting the timing of the announcement was forced, Verstappen said: "It seemed like it [the news] was a bit leaked of course and then they had to announce it because to announce something that big that early in the season I think for sure for the rest of the year is a little bit awkward.

"Even though you have had a lot of success together as a team, you can't be included into everything anymore.

"But for him going to Ferrari it's not really shocking."

'Deal with what you have'

Explaining why Hamilton, who was his biggest rival for the 2021 Drivers' title, faces an awkward year ahead of him, Verstappen explained: "For sure he has a great relationship with everyone and especially also with Toto (Wolff). But he also knows at one point, and Toto for sure will tell him like 'I'm really sorry, we've had all this success, but you can't be part of certain meetings anymore'

"That's normal in F1 and it's probably a bit weird, but you're professional enough to deal with that [as a driver].

"At the end of the day, you are professional enough to just deal with what you have.

"It's not like they are suddenly enemies or whatever. He has achieved so many great things with that whole team that they are still behind him, it's just you know at one point you can't just share certain stuff. But once he is sitting in the car they will still go flat out for him to try and win races as well."

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