The friendly faces set to welcome Hamilton to Ferrari

The final chapter of Lewis Hamilton’s long and successful Formula 1 career will be spent in red as even he could ultimately not say ‘No’ forever when Ferrari came calling.

Despite signing a new two-year deal with Mercedes last August, Hamilton has activated his break clause after just one season, and before he’s even driven the W15 on-track for the first time.

His departure will bring the curtain down on the most successful driver-team combination of all-time in F1, with six titles and 82 wins, and counting…

But when Hamilton rocks up in Maranello this time next year, he will be welcomed by at least three familiar and friendly faces whp are integral to all things Ferrari.

Frederic Vasseur

Hamilton and Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur first crossed paths when the Briton was just another young driver hoping to make it to F1.

Vasseur, a canny F1 operator, was boss of the ART Grand Prix team and ran Hamilton to the 2006 GP2 title, with the likes of Nico Rosberg and Stoffel Vandoorne also claiming that crown under Vasseur.

The Frenchman then moved tentatively into F1 for 2016 as Renault boss but disagreements with management brought a swift end to that partnership before Vasseur replaced Monisha Kaltenborn as Sauber boss in mid-2017.

Vasseur provided much needed visibility to steady the Hinwil-team and built it into a respectable midfield challenger before departing for Ferrari for 2023.

In Singapore, Vasseur’s Ferrari handed Red Bull its only defeat of the season with Carlos Sainz taking Vasseur’s first F1 win as a team boss – joining the Spanish driver on the podium – as did Hamilton.

Vasseur joked in December that he would speak with Hamilton from time-to-time about joining Ferrari, but that it would cost millions.

The Scuderia has made its numbers work…

Jock Clear

Whilst Peter Bonnington is the most recognisable of Hamilton’s Mercedes engineers, Jock Clear was also a key figure in guiding Hamilton towards a first Mercedes title in 2014.

He served as the performance engineer for the #44, having also worked with Johnny Herbert, David Coulthard, Jacques Villeneuve, Takuma Sato, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher during stints at Williams and then BAR which would morph into Honda, then Brawn before Mercedes arrived in 2010.

Clear departed Brackley ahead of 2015 to take up a senior engineering role at Ferrari and has since become the senior performance engineer and also works as driver coach to Charles Leclerc.

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Loic Serra

Perhaps the least well-known figure on this list, RacingNews365 understands that Hamilton rates Serra very highly with his own departure for Ferrari a key reason behind the Briton’s decision to quit.

Serra has been performance director at Mercedes, where vehicle dynamics are a key part of his role, and who felt the zero sidepod approach was flawed from the beginning, with disagreements with then technical director Mike Elliott over the wheelbase of the cars and floor.

Serra’s departure for 2025 was already announced by the time James Allison returned as technical director last spring.

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