F1:Hamilton downplays significance of Mercedes personnel joining him at Ferrari

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Lewis Hamilton has downplayed the significance of knowing personnel he will be working with when he switches to Ferrari next year, including some that will leave Mercedes for Maranello.

The seven-time world champion will leave Mercedes at the end of the season and will link up Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur who he worked with during his junior career when he drove for ART Grand Prix and won the 2006 GP2 championship.

He will also be reunited with familiar faces in Jock Clear, while Loic Serra and Jerome D’Ambrosio are joining the Italian team from Mercedes in October.

“When I moved to Mercedes I didn’t know anybody and that was totally fine. So I don’t think that makes a big difference personally to me,” Hamilton said ahead of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

“Obviously Loic I’ve worked with for many, many years. I have a great working relationship with Loic as well. And my first number two, Jock [Clear], works at that team.

“They are the only two that I think I know particularly well, as well as Fred.”

Reflecting on this weekend’s race in Imola, Hamilton is excited by the upgrades Mercedes will bring to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

“The last race [Miami Grand Prix] was positive and there’s a long way to go,” the 39-year-old stated.

“I’m just really excited for the developments that are coming. We had a step in the last race and we have got a step this weekend and there’s more in the pipeline.

“I feel like we have found more of a North Star of what we need to do and change. It just takes time but the energy in the team is amazing.

“They are so resilient in this team. They are continuing to push even though we have been knocked down quite a few times.

“We just need to continue to keep our heads down and stay focused and do the best job we can each weekend.”

Hamilton is ninth in the drivers championship with only 27 points while Mercedes are fourth on the constructors’ standings with 64 points.

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