Lewis Hamilton planning for life after Bono ahead of Ferrari 2025 move

Hamilton’s iconic relationship with Peter Bonnington will come to an end at the conclusion of the 2024 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton is set to part ways with his race engineer, Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington, when he leaves for Ferrari at the conclusion of the 2024 season, as the Mercedes figure will not follow the seven-time Formula 1 world champion.

Hamilton and Bono, as he’s affectionately known, have been united since Hamilton switched McLaren for Mercedes‘ silver in 2013 and they have formed one of the most formidable partnerships in history that has yielded six world championships, 82 wins, 78 poles and 149 podiums through 11 years.

But news out of Italy suggests 49-year-old will not be swapping Brackley for Maranello this winter after Hamilton reportedly had a phone call with Sebastian Vettel to discuss what Riccardo Adami, current engineer for Carlos Sainz, was like to work with.

“I heard that Lewis called Seb [Vettel] some time ago,” formu1a.uno journalist Giuliano Duchessa posted on X, formerly Twitter, ahead of the 2024 Austrian GP. “To ask about Riccardo Adami in view of 2025. Obviously the feedback on the qualities was excellent.”

Pete Bonnington and Lewis Hamilton after 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix | Steve Etherington / Mercedes F1 Team
Pete ‘Bono’ Bonnington and Lewis Hamilton after 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix | Steve Etherington / Mercedes F1 Team

As senior race engineer to the 39-year-old Brit, Bonnington is responsible for trackside communications and the direction of the set-up on the car. He is one of the most influential figures within the team and can have a significant impact on the outlook of a weekend, which usually tends to go well for Hamilton.

Their time together has become revered as one of the most iconic examples of a driver-engineer partnership, full of memorable phrases such as, “Bono my tyres are gone,” “Okay Lewis, it’s hammertime,” or “Get in there Lewis,” when Hamilton would cross the finish line in first-place.

Who is Riccardo Adami?

So when Hamilton leaves Mercedes and Bonnington, it seems he will inherit Riccardo Adami when Sainz departs for his next destination and will begin to cultivate the latest relationship of his very length and very rewarding F1 career.

But who is Adami? Aged 50, Riccardo Adami holds a degree in Chassis Area from the University of Brescia and has worked in the sport since 2002, beginning with Minardi. He enjoyed a swift rise to the status of race engineer and has served in the role since 2005.

When Minardi became Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2006, Adami remained with the team and began to work with drivers including Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastien Buemi and Daniel Ricciardo.

Carlos Sainz and Riccardo Adami at the 2024 Japanese GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Carlos Sainz and Riccardo Adami at the 2024 Japanese GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Here, he stunned fans at the 2008 Italian GP as Vettel took a shock pole and delivered one of the most surprising results in F1 history as Toro Rosso had “it’s day in the sun” to win at their home race for the first time in the team’s existence.

Since 2015, he has been at Ferrari and reunited with Vettel as they produced championship challenges in 2017 and 2018 before the German left and was replaced with Sainz.

As a man with a lot of experience in all works and situations of Grand Prix racing, Adami has engineered wins in 2008, 2015, 2017. 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023 and 2024 making him one of the most successful engineers on the F1 grid.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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