Lewis Hamilton Says His Parents Didn't Even Know About His Decision to Join Ferrari's F1 Team

The Formula 1 star, 39, revealed in a BBC podcast interview that he kept his exit from Mercedes under wraps from most people in his life

<p>Jon Furniss/WireImage; Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty</p> Lewis Hamilton with his parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier

Jon Furniss/WireImage; Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty

Lewis Hamilton with his parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier

Lewis Hamilton kept his move from Formula 1’s Mercedes team to Ferrari heavily under wraps, even keeping the move from his parents.

“I didn’t speak to anybody. I didn’t tell my parents till the day of it being announced. So, no one knew,” Hamilton told the BBC podcast Back at Base on Feb. 21, per the Associated Press. “I really wanted to do it for myself. Ultimately, I had to find out what would be the best for me.”

Related: All About Lewis Hamilton’s Parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier

The decorated F1 driver, 39, made the surprise announcement that he would be switching to Ferrari at the end of the 2024 racing season earlier this month, releasing an statement alongside Mercedes.

“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I'm so proud of what we have achieved together,” Hamilton said in the statement shared by Mercedes, adding that Mercedes “has been part of my life since I was 13 years old.”

Hamilton told Back at Base that he relied on his “gut and [his] heart” to help him make the decision to switch teams.

“I mean, the opportunity just popped up and I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got to think for a second,’” Hamilton said. “I didn’t have a lot of time to think and I had to just go with my gut feeling and I decided to take the opportunity.”

Related: Lewis Hamilton Makes Shocking F1 Move from Mercedes to Ferrari: 'The Time Is Right'

Hamilton’s fellow Mercedes team members didn’t have much warning of his departure, either. On Back at Base, he revealed that he told racer Toto Wolff that he would be leaving the team just a day before the announcement.

"It happened very fast and basically, I have known Fred [ Vasseur, the Ferrari team principal] for a long time,” he said, per Sports Illustrated. “And for me, I was excited for a new year, but not really knowing what the future would hold and not really knowing how long I was going to race for, but knowing that I felt super driven and excited to continue to race."

The F1 record-holder’s parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier, have been supportive of his racing career and helped foster his skills from an early age. Anthony took Hamilton on his first go-kart ride when he was 3 years old. By age 10, Hamilton had won his first British karting title.

<p>Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ; Jon Furniss/WireImage</p> Lewis Hamilton with his parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ; Jon Furniss/WireImage

Lewis Hamilton with his parents, Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier

Hamilton has been candid about how his family struggled to support him in racing — Anthony worked multiple jobs to support him financially, and his family traveled from his hometown in Stevenage, England across the U.K. for races every weekend.

When writing about his family’s decision to help him make his entrance into the racing world in his 2007 autobiography Lewis Hamilton: My Story, Hamilton wrote, “I honestly do not think I would be where I am today if my parents and step-parents had not worked hard together.”

Hamilton is set to begin his last season with Mercedes on Saturday at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.