Formula One: Lewis Hamilton to leave Mercedes and join Ferrari in shock move
The seven-time champion will leave Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team after 12 years
The world of Formula One is about to change as it has been announced that British driver and F1 sensation Sir Lewis Hamilton will be leaving Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team to join Scuderia Ferrari in 2025, according to Sky Sports News.
The Mercedes factory received a briefing from the chief executive of the team, Toto Wolff, Thursday evening, which was followed by a statement, expressing that the partnership came to a “natural end”.
“We accept Lewis’s decision to seek a fresh challenge, and our opportunities for the future are exciting to contemplate. But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on going racing to deliver a strong 2024,” Toto said in a statement.
Hamilton, for his part, spoke fondly of the legacy he has forged with Mercedes, but also expressed that it was time for him to take on a new challenge.
“Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old. It’s a place where I have grown up, so making the decision 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,” he said.
He also highlighted his friendship with Toto and his commitment to finish his final year with Mercedes on a high.Confirming the news, Ferrari released a team statement on social media, announcing Hamilton’s transfer to the team. Ferrari has long expressed interest in recruiting Hamilton, but the champion driver previously rejected reported offers in favour of success with Mercedes.
Last year, Hamilton even signed a two-year contract with Mercedes to extend their partnership to the end of 2025. But all that seems to have changed now as Sir Lewis is poised to replace Carlos Sainz at Ferrari in 2025, with the latter’s contract expiring at the end of this year. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is set to remain with the F1 team, having signed a long-term contract with them.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have had an incredibly successful partnership since he joined the team in 2013. With Mercedes, Hamilton won six championship titles between 2013 and 2020, before getting bested by Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen in recent years.On and off the track, Sir Lewis is known to be a philanthropist and advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement as well as for the LGBTQ+ community. The Tempus cover star set up the The Hamilton Commission to improve representation of black people in UK motorsport and also launched his charitable foundation, Mission 44 in 2021 to empower young people from underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Before Mercedes, Hamilton raced for McLaren Formula One. So far, neither Mercedes nor Ferrari have commented on this development, but an official announcement is expected imminently.
The 2024 F1 season will begin at the Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 February.