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Lewis Hamilton Won’t Sign Your Ferrari F1 Cap Just Yet

A video claiming Mercedes prohibits Hamilton from signing Ferrari gear popped up on IG. But Mercedes tells us otherwise.

byJerry Perez|
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The business of Formula 1 is complex. There are automakers, sponsors, contracts, business interests, loyalties and royalties—and these are all further complicated by the fact that some drivers can be currently working with a particular team despite being already contracted by another. Seven-time F1 champ Lewis Hamilton is one of those drivers, as he's currently stuck in paddock purgatory before his debut in red overalls next year.

Currently driving for Mercedes-AMG but already contracted by Ferrari for 2025, Hamilton is suddenly being handed Ferrari gear at public appearances. It's understandable, really, that Ferrari fans would capitalize on the opportunity of some early Hamilton-Ferrari swag. Not so fast!

In a video shared by formula_aerodynamics on Instagram, Hamilton can be seen surrounded by fans at an appearance in Miami. As these things usually go, he's being bombarded with requests, including some Ferrari caps, to which Hamilton quickly responds: "Mercedes caps, no Ferrari caps."

The video's headline reads "Mercedes' marketing team banned Hamilton from signing Ferrari caps." I dug around online and couldn't find any supporting evidence for that statement, so I reached out to the team's PR for confirmation. As it turns out, this isn't accurate.

"There is no such policy so I suspect the caption is very much speculating without much actual knowledge," a Mercedes-AMG F1 spokesperson told The Drive. "We can understand that Lewis would not be keen on the optics of signing a Ferrari hat though when he is still a Mercedes driver until the end of the year."

While some fans may think it's cruel of Hamilton to refuse Ferrari gear, it's totally understandable. Drivers are contracted talent, and their agreements are incredibly specific about what kind of brands they can interact with and endorse, let alone the items they autograph. Even if the team hasn't explicitly prohibited Hamilton from doing so, in a global sport like F1 it's all about the optics.

It's also not unheard of for teams to demand this behavior from their drivers, as motorsport journalist and The Drive F1 contributor Elizabeth Blackstock recalls a similar situation a few years back.

"It's likely that they've asked him not to," said Blackstock. "The year Sebastian Vettel announced he was going to leave Red Bull for Ferrari, I remember a lot of people trying to get him to sign Ferrari hats at the USGP and he declined."

There's evidence that Hamilton did sign a Ferrari hat during one of the first races of the season; there's even a cheeky video of it. It's believed to be the first-ever Hamilton-Ferrari autograph, and is rumored to be worth a bunch of money. So even if Mercedes' marketing folks aren't demanding this from him, a backroom conversation's likely been had at some point.

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