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Gunther Steiner Hits Out at Ralf Schumacher Claiming Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari Move Is Money-Focused

Published 03/19/2024, 3:26 PM EDT

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via Reuters

Lewis Hamilton will be moving to Ferrari in 2025 and many are wondering if this is only because he wants to be the 8 times world champion or something else. Mercedes had let him down and he wanted a change after 11 years with the team. Although the Briton wanted to continue driving for Ferrari, when Toto Wolff rejected his demands from the contract, Hamilton decided to look elsewhere.

That is where John Elkann stepped in to fulfill all of Lewis Hamilton’s needs. But it was not only the 7x champions’ financial needs that were being met in the team. It is also his childhood dream to drive for Ferrari. But that aside, many figures in the Formula One world have stepped up to talk about the transfer, with Ralf Schumacher also stating that the reason was to earn money, while Guenther Steiner thinks otherwise.

What do F1 insiders believe Lewis Hamilton went to Ferrari for?

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Lewis Hamilton openly states that the main reason he is going to the prancing horses stable is to get into a more competitive car. After Mercedes lost its mojo, Hamilton realized that the team is going backward with progress, and with him being 39, there wasn’t much time left for him on the grid.

via Imago

The month of February started off with the announcement of the transfer and with that, the whole F1 community started to talk about it. It became the news of the town and Ralf Schumacher had to share his insights on the move. According to Schumacher “He [Lewis Hamilton] wanted to earn real money again and drive for a brand that had so much appeal that he could still use it even after his active career.”

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Guenther Steiner, on the other hand, has another story. According to HeraldSun, the former Haas team principal said, “I think first of all it is good for Formula 1,” on the Hamilton-Ferrari move. “I understand Lewis completely, he is 11 years at the same team, achieved a lot with the team, has a good relationship with the team and I think the last chapter of his driving career he wants to do something different,” he added.

What’s important to note here is that Guenther Steiner has also worked in a single team for a decade before he was fired from the position. After losing his job at Haas the German has transitioned into journalism and picked a different path. But contradicting Schumacher’s statement, Steiner said, “I think it’s nice to see that Lewis is still up for it and not just driving his last years in Formula 1 just to get the money.”

It is difficult to imagine what both Guenther Steiner and Lewis Hamilton must be feeling about leaving after a decade in a team. Nevertheless, life goes on and there are always better things in store. However, the reason why Guenther Steiner left Haas was not because he wanted to move on, it was because he was removed. So what exactly happened with Guenther Steiner and Gene Haas?

Guenther Steiner’s decade-long service came to an end

After the 2023 season, Ayao Komatsu, the former trackside engineering director, replaced Guenther Steiner as Gene Haas decided to not renew the former team principal’s contract. After spending around a decade with Haas, this decision came off as a shock to the German. It’s been a while since the departure and now Steiner has opened up about his experience of leaving after 10 years.

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via Getty

The former team principal wrote an introspective column on the F1 official website, opening up about his life apart from Haas. Steiner stated, “Life has been good since I left Haas ahead of this season.” He added, “These last few weeks are the first time I’ve switched off from F1 for around a decade. This time has been good for me. The longer time goes on, the more I can see that I stayed at Haas too long,” he explains how he spent way too much time in Haas according to him.

This is only becoming clear since he has isolated himself with the rustle and bustle of the paddocks. He concluded by saying, “When you step away, you get clarity – and you can see what you need to do. While you’re there, you’re in denial, you think you can do it but you cannot.”

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While it might not be just about money for Lewis Hamilton, the $100 million salary and $400 million brand ambassador fee is quite a lot. But that being said, do you think Lewis Hamilton is moving to Ferrari only for the money or to actually compete for the 8th world champion title? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Viren Mirpuri

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Viren Mirpuri is an F1 Writer at EssentiallySports. With a Degree in Mass Media and a Specialization in Journalism, Viren is known for his speedy race day coverage outside of discussing the engine technicalities. Whether he's dissecting the latest technical innovations or unraveling the drama on and off the track, he ensures that his readers stay engaged and informed.
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Edited by:

Shreya Singh