Properly, it’s official – seven-time Method 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will likely be donning pink in 2025 in a sensational transfer from Mercedes-AMG Petronas to Scuderia Ferrari, one which he says was “one of many hardest choices I’ve ever needed to make.” All the important thing gamers have confirmed the information, bringing to relaxation a whirlwind of hypothesis that kicked off yesterday night.
Mercedes was the primary to announce Hamilton’s shock departure, stating that the 39-year-old Briton had activated a launch choice within the two-year contract he had solely simply signed final yr.
“By way of a team-driver pairing, our relationship with Lewis has grow to be probably the most profitable the game has seen, and that’s one thing we are able to look again on with delight; Lewis will at all times be an essential a part of Mercedes motorsport historical past.
“Nonetheless, we knew our partnership would come to a pure finish in some unspecified time in the future, and that day has now come. We settle for Lewis’s determination to hunt a recent problem, and our alternatives for the longer term are thrilling to ponder,” mentioned crew boss Toto Wolff.
Hamilton added: “I’ve had a tremendous 11 years with this crew and I’m so happy with what we’ve achieved collectively. Mercedes has been a part of my life since I used to be 13 years outdated. It’s a spot the place I’ve grown up, so making the choice to depart was one of many hardest choices I’ve ever needed to make. However the time is correct for me to take this step and I’m excited to be taking up a brand new problem.”
Ferrari then responded with a easy one-liner, confirming it has signed Hamilton on a “multi-year” foundation for 2025 onwards. He will likely be partnering Charles Leclerc, the Scuderia’s North Star and de facto primary driver who himself signed a contract extension with Maranello final week.
In flip, Carlos Sainz Jr – who satirically secured the crew’s sole win in Singapore in 2023, the one non-Pink Bull driver to take action – will likely be vacating his seat subsequent yr to make means for Hamilton. The Spaniard seems to have been simply as shocked by the information as the remainder of us, stating: “Following at the moment’s information, Scuderia Ferrari and myself will half methods on the finish of 2024.
“We nonetheless have an extended season forward of us and, like at all times, I’ll give my best possible for the crew and for the
Tifosi all around the globe. Information about my future will likely be introduced sooner or later.”
The information attracts a line underneath Hamilton’s unbelievable career-long relationship with Mercedes, which has powered him to all seven of his drivers’ titles – one at McLaren, six on the works crew. His personal bombshell transfer to Mercedes again in 2013 proved impressed, because it executed the seismic shift to turbo hybrid engines to perfection the next yr, kicking off an unprecedented run of dominance.
However the Brackley-based crew dropped the ball with the present floor impact laws, successful only one race – George Russell claiming the honour in Brazil in 2022 – within the final two years. Hamilton’s departure is a startling vote of no confidence in Mercedes, doing so earlier than what is going to now be his closing season with the crew has even begun – and having but to show a wheel in anger within the new W15.
At Ferrari, Hamilton will likely be chasing that elusive eighth world championship, righting what he’ll undoubtedly see as an injustice in dropping out to Max Verstappen at that controversial Abu Dhabi race in 2021; he can even be seeking to finish the crew’s title drought that stretches to 2008. It’s on no account a simple feat, as he will likely be going up towards Leclerc, a devastatingly quick driver that has rebuilt the crew in his personal picture.
Hypothesis over the second Ferrari seat had been mounting ever since Leclerc’s aforementioned signing. The crew had been broadly anticipated to retain Sainz given his sturdy performances final yr, but it surely had been dragging its ft with the contract extension – and now we all know why. It’s now doubtless that Sainz will make the much-anticipated transfer to Stake (née Sauber) forward of it turning into the Audi works crew in 2026.
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