Mercedes discusses Hamilton engineer Bono’s future in Formula 1 before Ferrari move

Mercedes discusses Hamilton engineer Bono’s future in Formula 1 before Ferrari move

It was revealed on Thursday that Hamilton will leave Mercedes to join rival Ferrari from the start of the 2025 season.

Senior drivers who change teams are often joined by employees who have worked with them at their previous companies, either because they specifically ask trusted colleagues to join them or because the individuals involved enjoy working with the driver.

A new team is usually open to the idea of ​​bringing familiar faces with them to help the driver settle into an unfamiliar environment.

In 1996, Michael Schumacher was followed from Benetton to Ferrari by technical director Ross Brawn and chief designer Rory Byrne as well as other key members of the Instone team, all of whom were identified by then Maranello boss Jean Todt as key elements of the winning package.

In other notable examples, race engineer Jacques Clair followed Jacques Villeneuve from Williams to BAR in 2000, while in 2015 Andrea Stella joined Fernando Alonso in the move from Ferrari to McLaren, staying on after the Spaniard left to eventually become team principal.

Hamilton has a special relationship with Bono, who has been with the Brackley team since the beginning of the Honda era after starting his career at Jordan.

While it is not known whether Bonington is willing to move his life to Italy, Wolff indicated that he expects the topic to come up.

“I think this is a discussion that everyone should have in the coming months,” Wolf said.

“As far as I actually talked to Bono, when I told him (about the Hamilton move) he said: ‘Is this the first of April?’” This is something we will discuss in the future.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, on the grid with Peter Bonnington, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes-AMG

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, on the grid with Peter Bonnington, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes-AMG

Photography: Steve Etherington/Motorsports Images

One complication is that Bonnington will have to stay with Mercedes until the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi on December 8 and then be available for Ferrari at the start of 2025, making the shift very tight in terms of gardening leave.

Aside from team principal Fred Vasseur, Hamilton will find few familiar faces at Ferrari, although former Mercedes performance director Loic Serra was one of Vasseur’s first key hires, and will officially start at the team next year.

Hamilton also worked with Clair in his first two years at Mercedes, although the latter’s current main focus is on Ferrari’s young driver programme.

If Bonnington is available to take over the race engineer job at Ferrari, the team will have to reshuffle and find a new role for Riccardo Adami, who currently works with Carlos Sainz.

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