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Mercedes 'jealousy' could trigger fascinating Hamilton F1 dynamic, says Perez

Mercedes’ 'jealousy' over the prospect of Lewis Hamilton taking its Formula 1 tech secrets to Ferrari will trigger some fascinating dynamics this year, reckons Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

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

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Hamilton dropped a bombshell on Mercedes earlier this month when he revealed that he was activating an escape clause in his contract to join Ferrari from 2025.

While Hamilton wanted the news out as early as possible to avoid speculation distracting from his campaign, it does mean that how he works with Mercedes will not be the same going forward.

It is almost certain that he will be sidelined from all future technical developments, for fear that the squad’s ideas could become known to Ferrari on his arrival.

Such a scenario is one that Perez reckons could serve up some fascination this year, especially if Mercedes finds itself locked into a tough battle with one of its rivals.

Asked for his thoughts on Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, Perez said: “Interesting! But more than that, I think the dynamics are going to be interesting to watch from the outside.

“Having a driver that is moving teams, we all know how jealous the teams are on sharing information, because Lewis has been there for many years, and he will be taking a lot of knowledge to another team.

“So yeah, there will be some interesting dynamics to watch from the outside.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Perez’s views on it not being all smooth sailing for Hamilton in his final Mercedes year is shared by his team-mate Max Verstappen, who says the timing of going public with his move before the season started was not ideal.

“It makes it a little bit more difficult for the entire team to work together throughout the entire year,” said the world champion.

“But of course, everyone's professional, so I'm sure they'll be able to deal with it, also because they've had so much success together. But of course, you won't be allowed to attend certain meetings.”

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Despite Hamilton’s Ferrari move triggering some short-term issues, Verstappen says that if the Briton was eager to change camps then it made sense to do it.

“You can't give an honest assessment, from our side, [of] why you make that decision, but if he's happy with that move, then he should go,” said Verstappen. “I think it will look cool.

“And of course, I hope for them that it's going to be success, but you don't know at the moment."

Hamilton’s Ferrari switch has opened up F1’s driver market for 2025, with a prime seat at Mercedes alongside George Russell now available.

Perez, whose own future is uncertain as his current Red Bull contract comes to an end later this year, reckons that the F1 driver market silly season could well now kick off early as teams try to get hold of the best talent.

“I'm sure that most of the drivers are going to be willing to get things done a lot earlier in the year.” he said.

“But it's just the approach you have. From my side, I'm just focusing on having a great year, the rest always takes care of itself. As long as you're performing on track, the rest always comes in play.

“So, I'm not really bothered about it. It's my 14th season in F1. So, for me, my main target is hitting it well on track.”

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