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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes talks with race engineer Peter Bonnington in the Pitlane during the red flag delay during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on April 02, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia.

Mercedes to solve Hamilton’s F1 engineer Bono’s future ahead of Ferrari move

Peter Bonnington has been a staple to Lewis Hamilton, being his race engineer since the seven-time world champion joined Mercedes back in 2013

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Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff suggests that his team will evaluate a possible move to Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington.

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on November 17, 2013 in Austin, United States.
Bono has been Hamilton’s race engineer since he joined Mercedes (Image Credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Thursday saw that Hamilton will leave Mercedes to join rival Ferrari at the start of the 2025 season. The seven-time world champion will spendo ne more season with the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton’s move to Ferrari has raised questions for the future of his race engineer Bonnington. ‘Bono’ has been the seven-time world champion’s race engineer since he joined Mercedes back in 2013.

In the past, top drivers are usually joined by staff who worked well with the driver at the previous team. The driver trusts the colleagues to join them at the new team to continue the momentum together.

The new team is often willing for the idea of bringing faces that the driver knows well. This will help settle the driver into the new team quicker.

Previously, Michael Schumacher was followed from Benetton to Ferrari by technical director Ross Brawn and chief designer Rory Byrne in 1996. More key Enstone team members also joined, who were believed to be the key to deliver a race-winning car for Schumacher.

PORTIMAO, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 25: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates his record breaking 92nd race win with race engineer Peter Bonnington on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Portugal at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on October 25, 2020 in Portimao, Portugal.
Hamilton and ‘Bono’ have maintained a special relationship (Image Credit: Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Hamilton and Bono have “special” relationship

It is clear to see that Hamilton has a special relationship with ‘Bono’. The Mercedes race engineer has been at the Brackley team since the early Honda era, previously starting his career at Jordan.

It is still unexpected as to whether Bonnington is willing to relocate to Italy. Wolff has suggested that the subject will come up:

“I think this is a discussion which everyone needs to have in the months to come.

“And as much as I’ve spoken with Bono already, when I told him [about Hamilton’s move] he said, ‘Is it April the first?’ That’s something which we will discuss in the future.”

A complication for Bonnington is that he would have to stay at the Brackley team until the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, which is December 8. This would result in a tight gardening leave to Ferrari.

Hamilton will find familiar faces at Maranello. Former Mercedes performance director Loic Serra will officially begin at Ferrari next year.

Questions will be asked for Carlos Sainz’s race engineer Riccardo Adami. As Hamilton is replacing Sainz, he could end up out of the team if Bonnington joins. However, it is still unclear as to what Bonnington will do.

Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

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