Mercedes confirm Lewis Hamilton’s departure for Ferrari

Mercedes confirm Lewis Hamilton's departure for Ferrari

Mercedes have confirmed their star driver Lewis Hamilton will leave to join Ferrari for the 2025 season.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari have officially confirmed Lewis Hamilton’s surprising departure from the former team to join the latter for the 2025 Formula 1 team season and beyond.

Last summer, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes agreed to what was initially reported to be a new two-year contract that covered the 2024 and 2025 Formula 1 seasons. However, it has now come to light that Hamilton was free to opt out of the second year.

Rumours associated with Hamilton playing a part in a Ferrari deal surfaced on Thursday morning, but Racetrackmasters later confirmed this, indicating a contract for 2025 had been signed.

Initially, neither Mercedes nor Ferrari acknowledged this. However, it later came to light that Mercedes held an all-staff meeting at its Brackley headquarters and team principal Toto Wolff informed the team that Hamilton will be leaving after this season.

Later on Thursday night, Mercedes confirmed that Hamilton had exercised his contract’s release clause.

“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,” said Wolff.

“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.”

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Hamilton, whose 2025 contract with Ferrari will allow him to race in Formula 1 after the age of 40 will race alongside Charles Leclerc, who this month signed a multi-year contract to remain with the team.

Hamilton’s move means that Leclerc’s current teammate Carlos Sainz will drive for another team in 2025 when his current contract expire.

Ferrari issued a brief statement following Mercedes’ announcement to confirm the signing.

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

The announcement is expected to mark the end of Hamilton’s 12-year tenure with Mercedes. Hamilton joined Brackley in an equally notable exit from McLaren, the team where he made his debut in 2007 and won his maiden world title the following year.

Mercedes emerged as the dominant force at the start of the turbo hybrid era in 2014, demonstrating the great success of their choice to sign the Brit. The squad helped Hamilton win six more world championships in seven years except 2016, when teammate Nico Rosberg emerged as the champion.

Hamilton cemented his record as the all-time greatest driver with 82 of his 103 victories and 78 of his 104 poles for the team.

However, Max Verstappen snatched Hamilton’s crown in a controversial 2021 championship duel, and Mercedes surrendered first place to Red Bull after the 2022 rules went into effect. Hamilton has not won a race ever since.

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