In a stunning turn of events, Formula 1 icon Lewis Hamilton is set to shake up the motorsport world by leaving Mercedes and joining Ferrari for the 2025 season. The 39-year-old British driver, who has long been associated with Mercedes, is reportedly on the brink of a deal with the legendary Italian team, according to reports from The Sun.
Hamilton’s move to Ferrari has caught many off guard, especially given his recent contract extension with Mercedes, inked during the previous season. Nonetheless, a clause enabling his departure at the close of 2024 has been activated, with the all-time leading race winner eyeing a fresh start in pursuit of an eighth championship title.
Addressing his departure from Mercedes, Hamilton expressed gratitude for his time with the team while recognising the importance of embracing new challenges. “I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together,” remarked 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.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff also lauded Hamilton’s contributions, describing him as “an important part of Mercedes motorsport history”. “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,” Wolff said. “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.”
Ferrari chairman John Elkann’s admiration for Hamilton’s talent has been widely documented, with reports suggesting prior discussions between the two parties. The financial aspect of the deal also holds significance, with Hamilton expected to command a substantial salary, rumoured to be around £40 million per year. His arrival will see him partnering with Ferrari’s current standout driver, Charles Leclerc, resulting in Spaniard Carlos Sainz being pushed out to make room for the British star.
Since joining Mercedes in 2013, Hamilton has been instrumental in the team’s success, playing a pivotal role in securing multiple constructors’ and drivers’ championships. From 2014 to 2021, Mercedes reigned supreme, clinching eight consecutive constructors’ championships and rewriting the record books with their on-track performance.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s departure leaves Mercedes, the reigning world champions, in need of a replacement driver. With promising talents like George Russell and Mick Schumacher in their ranks, Mercedes faces the challenge of finding a worthy successor to fill Hamilton’s shoes.
Ferrari’s last championship triumph dates back to the 2008 season when they secured the constructors’ title in a fierce battle with McLaren. The last time a Ferrari driver clinched the drivers’ championship was in 2007, courtesy of Kimi Räikkönen. Hamilton currently stands on par with Michael Schumacher for the most drivers’ championships, with seven to his name.
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