F1 News

Mercedes' James Allison on missing Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes will miss this element about Hamilton: ‘producing total magic’

20 June at 09:47
  • Ben Stevens

Lewis Hamilton shocked everyone when he announced his move to Ferrari for the start of the 2025 season. Mercedes' technical director James Allison admits that Hamilton's departure from the Silver Arrows wasn't a surprise, but was still full of praise for the seven-time world champion. 

'Gun against the head, I would pick Lewis'

Allison has worked with Hamilton since he joined the team in 2017 as technical director. Allison believes that Mercedes were prepared for Hamilton's departure after hearing the nature of the contract the team had offered Hamilton but it was the timing that surprised everyone. 

Despite this, Allison was still full of praise for Hamilton, who won six of his seven world drivers' titles with the Silver Arrows. When asked on the Beyond The Grid podcast what he would miss about Hamilton, Allison responded, "The days where he would just produce total magic that would make you go, oh my goodness.

"Putting a car on the road with such precision that just left all the other drivers around and with no option but to sort of surrender to what Lewis was doing on the road." Allison continued: "The ability to make a tyre last and last and last.  Even while telling Bono [Peter Bonington, Hamilton's long-time race engineer] it wouldn't. 

"The drama that goes along with having him as a teammate, but just the delivery of brilliant, brilliant performances. I've said before, I think he's the best racing car driver there's ever been."

Allison had previously worked with the only other driver to win seven world drivers' titles - Michael Schumacher - during their dominant period in the early 2000s. When asked to choose between the two most successful drivers in Formula 1, Allison didn't have to think: "But if I, gun against the head, had to choose the best person, I would pick Lewis."