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Toto Wolff

Wolff: I hold 'no grudge' against Hamilton after Mercedes departure

The Mercedes boss was informed by Lewis Hamilton of his decision to leave the team on Wednesday.

Wolff Hamilton
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Toto Wolff "respects" the toughness of the decision Lewis Hamilton had to make to Mercedes Ferrari, and does not hold a "grudge".

Hamilton shocked the world of F1 on Thursday with the official announcement that he is to leave Mercedes at the end of the 2024, agreeing a multi-year contract to race for Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc from 2025.

The seven-time champion informed his long-time boss, and friend, that he would be leaving on Wednesday over breakfast at Wolff's UK home near to the Mercedes factory, before the team was briefed on Thursday afternoon with the news becoming official later that evening.

Wolff is now tasked with finding a replacement driver for the Briton, who joined the team in 2013 and has won 82 races, claiming six of his seven titles.

Despite the suddenness of Hamilton activating the break clause in the deal he only signed in August, Wolff bears no ill-will towards Hamilton.

Wolff on Hamilton

"When he first told me, my next thought was pragmatic," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"[I thought]: 'What does it mean? When are we communicating this? What are the pressure points? How are we managing the season going forward, and what are we going to do in terms of driver line-up?

"The Mercedes, the team's mind kicked in and now having slept a few nights on it, it means our professional journey comes to an end, working together, but it does not mean that our personal relationship does, and I have found a friend.

"We've built a relationship over the last 10 years, and he faced a very, very difficult situation of taking a decision of where to drive maybe for the first time in 10 years without being able to brainstorm with me.

"Therefore, I will always respect the difficulty of the situation that he faced and in the future we will discuss whether this could have been done in a different way or not, but I hold no grudge."

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