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EXCLUSIVE: Why Hamilton's upcoming departure could improve Mercedes performance

EXCLUSIVE: Why Hamilton's upcoming departure could improve Mercedes performance

EXCLUSIVE: Why Hamilton's upcoming departure could improve Mercedes performance

EXCLUSIVE: Why Hamilton's upcoming departure could improve Mercedes performance

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes' swansong F1 season seems destined to be disappointing but an F1 veteran doesn't believe that is the case.

The seven-time champion is in his final season with the Silver Arrows ahead of a move to Ferrari next season.

READ MORE: F1 team ANNOUNCE star driver signing on multi-year deal

On the surface it looks to be a well timed move, with the seven-time champion having been nowhere near a podium this season, only collecting his first top six finish in a 2024 grand prix at the most recent event at Miami.

By contrast, Ferrari appear to be on the up, with Carlos Sainz having already triumphed at the Australian Grand Prix this term as they aim to close a performance gap to Red Bull.

Indeed Mercedes' woes don't appear to have a quick fix as they lumber a distant fourth in the constructors' championship ahead of Aston Martin.

But while Hamilton's impending departure could be seen as a negative as his relationship with Mercedes naturally starts to cool, his former McLaren colleague Marc Priestley believes the current situation could see a spur in his performance having seen a similar scenario play out before.

Priestley was a mechanic and key pit-lane member in the McLaren garage throughout the 2000s and was a close member of Kimi Raikkonen's camp during the Finn's years with the team.

Having been serious title contenders in 2005, McLaren's performance slumped during 2006, a season where Raikkonen was confirmed to replace Michael Schumacher at Ferrari for 2007.

READ MORE: F1 boss provides reason for Ricciardo REPLACEMENT

Lewis Hamilton is enduring a frustrating final year at Mercedes
Kimi Raikkonen had two spells with the Ferrari team

Lewis Hamilton following in Kimi Raikkonen footsteps

Speaking to GPFans, Priestley insists that despite McLaren's struggles during the year, Raikkonen's knowledge of having a brighter future aided him over the course of the season as he compared the 2007 world champion with Hamilton's woes this year.

"Well, we had a difficult year and we were struggling with a difficult car in 2006 anyway. So we were struggling for results," Priestely said speaking on behalf of OLBG.

"So you know, I think everyone was finding it hard. I think the one thing you get as a driver, and Lewis will be finding this now with Mercedes, is once you have your future secured, and it's an exciting future going to Ferrari - an exciting move as a driver. It gives you a little lift.

Marc Priestley spoke with GPFans over Lewis Hamilton's future

"So it's not necessarily just about upping your performance in the car right now but outside of that, you know, there's something better on the horizon and that will keep anybody going. So it's a little dangling carrot.

"So there are similarities I guess, between Kimi's [final year at McLaren] and Lewis's current situation."

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