Lewis Hamilton’s departure from Mercedes and move to Ferrari for the 2025 F1 season has been confirmed.
The ground-breaking news was confirmed in a team meeting at Mercedes’ Brackley headquarters, where Team Principal Toto Wolff and Technical Director James Allison verified Hamilton’s transfer to Ferrari. Both Mercedes and Ferrari have released statements confirming the news.
Before the meeting, rumours about the possibility of the seven-time world champion’s move came out earlier today (Thursday) with several senior sources suggesting that a deal between Hamilton and Ferrari has been agreed.
Hamilton had signed a two-year contract with Mercedes in the summer of 2023 which expires at the end of 2025 but the move means that the upcoming 2024 season will be his last at Mercedes. Hamilton will be joining Charles Leclerc at Ferrari in 2025 after the Monacan F1 driver signed a new contract with the Italian racing team last week.
Sharing a parting statement to social media, Mercedes team said: “Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Lewis Hamilton will part ways at the end of the 2024 season. Lewis has activated a release option in the contract announced last year.”
In 2013, Hamilton made a similar shock move when he left McLaren for Mercedes. Whilst some doubt surrounded his decision, it proved to be a wise move as Hamilton and Mercedes dominated the sport since, earning him a record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles (tieing him with Michael Schumacher), and holding the record for the most race wins (103), pole positions (104), and podium finishes (197).
There had been sporadic rumours of Hamilton joining the Ferrari F1 team for years, with the racing team even admitting that they held talks with Hamilton in 2019 about the possibility of him joining them, but these were always dispelled and Hamilton remained committed to Mercedes, up until now.
Ferrari’s team confirmed their gain just minutes ago on social media, saying: “Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract.”
The move may be explained by Hamilton’s motivations to win a record-breaking eighth world champion title. Since the 2021 Abu Dhabi late race safety car period controversy when Hamilton lost out to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the two recent difficult seasons Mercedes has experienced, Hamilton may be wanting to gamble on Ferrari to clinch that coveted eighth world title.
Hamilton’s move will be sure to shake up F1’s driver grid. His upcoming Ferrari seat means that Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz will be on the hunt for a new team, it also leaves the question of who could replace Hamilton at Mercedes and join George Russell. Thrown into the mix is Fernando Alonso, who is confirmed at Aston Martin until the end of 2024.
Formula 1’s 2024 season begins at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 2.