Mercedes Has Started to Act like Lewis Hamilton Has Already Left the Team

Published 02/12/2024, 6:29 AM EST

Follow Us

via Imago

Perhaps extremely redundant at this point but thanks to Lewis Hamilton‘s blockbuster Ferrari announcement, we will see a lot of changes over the next few months stemming from his decision. The two certainties are Mercedes finding his replacement and Carlos Sainz finding a new team. However, what we fail to see currently is that Mercedes will have to replace Hamilton in all senses of the matter. After 11 years, Mercedes and Hamilton have become synonymous with each other. The Brit was a brand on his own and he was attached to the hip with Mercedes, until now. So after his announcement, it’s not just a driver Mercedes is replacing, they are replacing the Lewis Hamilton brand.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Now, we all know no one can replace Hamilton or the value he brought to Mercedes. A driver can fill his seat but not many can fill his shoes, especially in terms of the commercial value he brought to Mercedes. The Brit is himself worth $285 million but he made the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team a billion-dollar company. If it wasn’t for Hamilton’s six titles with the Brackley outfit, we are not sure if Mercedes would’ve been, forget in the sport, as commercially successful. So despite losing their and F1’s biggest star, the Silver Arrows have to replace him. We believe the first step of that plan is already in motion.

Fans point out if Mercedes is already trying to replace Lewis Hamilton in one aspect

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

There is no doubt the German team will have a tough task of replacing Hamilton in the team. However, we doubt they will be able to replace the fandom and the commercial value he brought to the team. On the day of the Ferrari announcement, the Italian team’s Instagram page gained 232,021 followers. The team’s monthly average is 220,916.

via Reuters

According to Zoomph, Ferrari’s 2025 lineup post by F1 became the top post on the page in the past year. The news had 330 million social media impressions. Nowadays, we all know social media plays a vital role in a company’s growth and these impressions translate to literal money. In fact, after Hamilton’s Ferrari announcement, the Italian team automaker’s stock price rose by 10% which equates to $6 billion. Just being associated with the Hamilton brand can reap mega benefits, which was Mercedes’ privilege for the past 11 years. Now it’s Ferrari’s. This is exactly why Mercedes is now disassociating itself from Hamilton, whether they like it or not.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest F1 stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Now that Hamilton isn’t part of Mercedes’ future, the team is slowly but surely trying to make George Russell the face of the team. The 25-year-old is an extremely talented driver and we are sure he will have a long and prosperous future in the sport under favorable circumstances. Mercedes is banking on it which is why he got the seat and also why now he is the team’s new leader. Toto Wolff made this admission when he said, “George has the potential to be the next lead driver in the team. I couldn’t wish for a new team leader when Lewis leaves, no doubt about that.”

This admission proves Mercedes is trying to push Russell as the main man to lead them into the new and hopefully successful era. We are seeing glimpses of it through the team’s social media activity. Mercedes’s social media were mainly focused on Hamilton until he revealed his decision to part ways with them. Now, the team is slowly but surely pushing Russell as the face of the operation and even the fans are starting to notice it.

Mercedes is taking the ‘cut your losses’ approach instead of extracting as much value as they can until the 7X champ is with them. We assume the Brackley outfit is taking this approach because of Hamilton’s sudden parting of ways and also looking ahead, Russell will be the focal point. They’re pushing this idea early on so that loyal Mercedes fans can accept the harsh reality of their superstar leaving and they can get behind the young prospect.

Lewis Hamilton Single-Handedly Boosts Ferrari’s Worth by $6 Billion After Shock Exit From Mercedes

We are not sure if this will bode well with the fans because no one can tell if the people supporting Mercedes at the moment are either loyal to Hamilton or the team. We will surely find it out in 2025. However, before 2025, we will also find out how dedicated Mercedes will be toward Hamilton in their last year together.

Will this social media preferential treatment carry forward to the track as well?

In 2023, we saw Mercedes favor their champion and issue team orders to Russell on a couple of occasions. This is the ugly reality of F1 and every team has to give preference to one driver over the other. However, now that the team is banking their future on Russell’s shoulders, will they favor Hamilton on track?

via Imago

Surely Mercedes would have no reason to. The Brit caught the entire team by surprise by keeping his desire and decision to join Ferrari secret until the last minute. We all know even his closest ally Toto Wolff found out about the news through the media and was caught completely off guard.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

So, even though the team has no motivation to back the Brit in 2024, we assume they would do it only if Hamilton is beating Russell. We assume if during the mid-way point, Mercedes is in the championship fight and its Hamilton leading that championship charge, the Silver Arrows will back its hero for one last hurrah. Apart from that, we don’t see any scenario where Hamilton gets preferential treatment ahead of Russell.

WATCH THIS STORY: Lewis Hamilton remains unwavering in his determination to halt Max Verstappen’s dominance, despite enduring significant neglect from the FIA

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Although without counting anyone out, being a championship contender over their chief rival’s obvious advantage seems highly unlikely. We won’t know until we see the cars on the track, so let’s reserve our judgment.

Editorial Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EssentiallySports.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Mahim Suhalka

2,095Articles

One take at a time

"Chaos is Order yet Undeciphered." - said Noble prize winner José Saramago, essentially meaning the path to success is not always linear and something, I, Mahim Suhalka truly believe in. I have written over 1800 articles in my tenure at EssentiallySports so far making me one of the senior writers in the division.
Show More>

Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today