Lewis Hamilton ‘manifested’ shock move to Ferrari

The biggest story in Formula 1 right now? The upcoming driver transfer market. With over half of the grid driving on an expired contract, this year’s “silly season” figures to be one for the ages. Of course, it was all kicked into high gear with the stunning news that Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Drivers’ champion, would be leaving Mercedes at the end of the season to drive for Ferrari.

Speaking with GQ, Hamilton opened up about his move to Ferrari, his final season with Mercedes, and his life after racing.

Hamilton sat down with Daniel Riley for the magazine’s annual “Creativity Issue,” and addressed his shock announcement ahead of the 2024 F1 season. “Honestly,” said Hamilton to Riley, “I’ve manifested everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I do it every year. Working with Tommy [Hilfiger]. Winning a world championship. Breaking records. And so I’ve had some other plans for the future.

“Yeah,” said Hamilton when asked if he manifested the Ferrari move. “I think perhaps more unconscious manifesting from the early period of my life. But it’s always been up there for me. For now, though, I’m gonna lift Mercedes as high as I can this year.”

As for how he will lift the Silver Arrows as high as possible in his final season, Hamilton pointed to the commitment he has always brought to the team, as well as a vision for how his final season will unfold.

“The way that I exist,” said Hamilton, “I don’t look at it as on the way out. My commitment to the team is exactly the same as previous years: I want to kill every other team. We want to beat them. My approach remains the same, right till the end. And can’t let too much of my mind be distracted by what’s afterwards. You can’t really tap into that until next year.”

Still, with the driver pushing 40, questions about his life after F1 follow him from track to track. Regarding his future, Hamilton wants to get the timing right when it comes to walking away, and when he does walk away, it will be a “mic drop” moment, and he will turn to his other passions.

“I’d spoken to so many amazing athletes, from Boris Becker to Serena Williams, even Michael Jordan,” Hamilton said to Riley. “Talking to greats that I’ve met along the way, who are retired—or some that are still in competition—and the fear of what’s next, the lack of preparation for what’s next. A lot of them said: ‘I stopped too early.’ Or: ‘Stayed too long.’ ‘When it ended, I didn’t have anything planned.’ ‘My whole world came crashing down because my whole life has been about that sport.’ 

“Some of them were like: ‘I didn’t plan and it was a bit of a mess-up because I was really lost afterwards. There was such a hole. Such a void. And I had no idea how I was going to fill it. And I was in such a rush initially to try and fill it that you fill it with the wrong thing. And you make a few mistakes. And then eventually you find your way.’ Some people took longer. Some people took shorter. But it just got my mind thinking about: Okay, when I stop, how do I avoid that? And so I got serious about finding other things that I was passionate about.

“I went through this phase of understanding that I can’t race forever,” added Hamilton. “Because when I stop, I’m gonna drop the mic and be happy.

“The difficult thing is I want to do everything,” he says, laughing. “I’m very ambitious. But I understand that you can’t do—actually, I take that back because I don’t believe in the word can’t. To be a master at something, there’s the 10,000 hours it takes. Obviously, I’ve done that in racing. There’s not enough time to master all of these different things.”

As for what specifically he will look to master post-racing?

“Well,” said Hamilton, “I think it’s gonna be film and fashion.”

You can read the entire profile of Hamilton in GQ’s Annual “Creativity Issue.”

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