Lewis Hamilton to join Ferrari for 2025 season
Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will make a sensational switch from Mercedes to Ferrari next year on a multi-year contract, a move he called “one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make”.
Hamilton has raced for the Silver Arrows since the 2013 season and has won six of his seven world titles with the team, adding to the crown he achieved at McLaren earlier in his career.
He had also re-committed to Mercedes last summer, signing a new deal to keep him aboard through 2025, but this will now be cut short to allow for his headline-making move.
Hamilton’s decision comes after two challenging seasons for the Brackley squad, who have struggled to adapt to F1’s latest ground effect era and have dropped behind Red Bull in the pecking order.
It means Hamilton will link up with Charles Leclerc, who recently agreed an extension with the Scuderia “beyond 2024”, while Carlos Sainz will have to make way at the end of this year.
On Thursday evening, Mercedes confirmed that both they and Hamilton would be parting ways at the end of 2024 with Hamilton activating a release option in his contract. Ferrari soon followed by announcing the seven-time world champion would be joining from 2025 on a multi-year contract.
Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract. pic.twitter.com/moEMqUgzXH
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) February 1, 2024
“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team [Mercedes] and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together,” said Hamilton. “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. I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto for his friendship and leadership and I want to finish on a high together. I am 100% committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember.”
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal and CEO, commented: “In terms of a team-driver pairing, our relationship with Lewis has become the most successful the sport has seen, and that’s something we can look back on with pride; Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history.
“However, we knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come. 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.”
Amid intense speculation over Hamilton’s F1 future last year, Leclerc was asked about the prospect of teaming up with the Briton and admitted he would be open to it.
“If I say yes [I would like to be his team mate], I imagine it being the title of every newspaper!” Leclerc smiled. “I mean Lewis is such an incredible driver and he has achieved so much in the sport.
“I think anybody on the grid would love to have Lewis as a team mate, as everybody will learn a lot from him. But I’m happy where I am and with Carlos it’s a great relationship too.”