In a seismic move that will reshape the Formula 1 landscape, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has decided to part ways with Mercedes after the 2024 season. The British racing icon is set to join forces with historic rivals Ferrari on a multi-year deal, marking one of the most significant driver transfers in the sport’s history.
Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes, where he has been an integral part of the team since 2013, comes as a surprise, considering he inked a new two-year deal just last summer. However, it’s revealed that his contract contained a break clause after one year, a provision he has chosen to activate.
Expressing his sentiments on the move, Hamilton stated, “Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old. It’s the place where I grew up, so deciding to leave was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. But the time is right for me to take this step, and I’m excited to be taking on a new challenge.”
The shift to Ferrari, one of the sport’s most iconic teams, positions Hamilton alongside Charles Leclerc for the 2025 season. This move leaves Carlos Sainz concluding his tenure as a Ferrari driver.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal, acknowledged the historic success of the partnership with Hamilton, stating, “The pairing of Mercedes and Hamilton has become the most successful the sport has seen.”
Hamilton, reflecting on his departure, expressed gratitude to his Mercedes family, particularly praising Wolff for his leadership. He affirmed his commitment to delivering his best performance in his final season with the Silver Arrows.
The move to Ferrari is a bold step for Hamilton, whose recent dominance with Mercedes faced challenges from Max Verstappen and Red Bull. Hamilton’s last victory was at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021, and he finished sixth in the 2023 championship, trailing behind new teammate George Russell.
Former F1 champion Nigel Mansell, commenting on the move, remarked, “I think it’s fantastic for the fans and incredibly dynamic.” Mansell dismissed concerns about Hamilton’s age, emphasizing that at 39, the British driver still has plenty of competitive years ahead.
As Hamilton gears up for this unexpected chapter with Ferrari, fans eagerly anticipate how the seasoned racer will fare against the fierce competition, with Max Verstappen vowing to defend his title and Ferrari strategizing to halt Hamilton’s quest for an eighth championship. The 2025 Formula 1 season promises excitement and unpredictability, marking a new era for both Hamilton and the sport itself.