Motorsport

F1 Driver Lewis Hamiliton to Leave Mercedes for Ferrari

by Steven Cole Smith
2 February 2024 2 min read
F1 Driver Lewis Hamiliton to Leave Mercedes for Ferrari
(Photo by: Amin Jamali/Getty Images)

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is set to move from Mercedes to Ferrari, according to an Instagram post from Scuderia Ferrari, since confirmed by multiple news outlets.

“Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract,” the post said.

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Mercedes also released a statement announcing the news. “Lewis has activated a release option in the contract announced last August and this season therefore will be his last driving for the Silver Arrows. The news brings to an end what is currently a 17-year relationship in F1 with Mercedes-Benz, and an 11-year partnership with the works team.”

Said Hamilton: “I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I am so proud of what we accomplished together. Mercedes has been a 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 am excited to be taking on a new challenge.”

Hamilton, 39, was expected to finish out his career with Mercedes, the team with which he won six of his seven world championships. Mercedes struggled during 2023, leaving Hamilton winless.

Of course, with the outstanding season Max Verstappen had driving for Red Bull Racing Honda, most drivers were winless. Verstappen and his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, would have swept the season were it not for Carlos Sainz’s September win at Singapore for Ferrari. Media reports say Sainz is the driver that Hamilton would replace. Where that would leave Sainz is unclear; he could possibly replace Hamilton at Mercedes. His Ferrari co-driver, Charles Leclerc, signed a new contract two weeks ago, but there was no mention of Sainz. Speculation was that Alex Albon of Williams could replace Sainz, but that was before the Hamilton news was made public.

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil Media Interviews Sainz Hamilton Leclerc
(Photo by: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Ferrari has long courted the services of Hamilton, making him a $50 million offer last year. But Hamilton decided to stick with Mercedes, where he won six of his seven championships, with the other championship coming with McLaren.

Autosport quoted Hamilton early last season as saying about Mercedes: “I think for this year [2023] they thought the fundamentals were good and we just have to go here and it’s not the case. That’s why I was frustrated in February, because they hadn’t made the changes I’d asked (for).”

Apparently, Hamilton is convinced that as he enters the late stage of his career he has a better chance at a return to glory with Ferrari than Mercedes. So far, neither company has commented.

In recent years, Hamilton has branched out into other ventures. In October of 2022, he founded Dawn Apollo Films, a production company. Its upcoming projects include an untitled motorsport drama starring Brad Pitt and directed by Joseph Kosinski, which spent the last two weeks filming at the Daytona International Speedway and the surrounding area.

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