Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes for Ferrari in bombshell F1 move


British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of the upcoming season and is set to join Ferrari in 2025, according to both teams, in what could be one of F1’s biggest moves in nearly a decade.
F1 Grand Prix of China

Lewis Hamilton is set to join Charles Leclerc and team principal Fred Vasseur at Ferrari in 2025.

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Key Takeaways
  • The Mercedes team confirmed Hamilton’s departure after the 2024 season in a statement Thursday, adding the star driver activated a release option in his contract.
  • Scuderia Ferrari followed up Mercedes’ statement in a tweet saying Hamilton will join them in 2025 on a multi-year contract.
  • Hamilton will team up with Monégasque driver Charles Leclerc, who recently signed an extension with the Italy-based team.
  • The move leaves Ferrari’s second driver, Carlos Sainz Jr., without a seat for 2025 as his deal with Ferrari is set to expire at the end of the 2024 season.
  • With a seat opening up at Mercedes, the move is also likely to trigger changes to other teams’ lineups.
Key Background

With Hamilton’s seven drivers’ world championships and Ferrari’s record 16 constructor titles, this is set to be the most decorated team-up in F1’s history. After dominating the F1 grid from 2013 to 2020, the Hamilton-Mercedes pairing has failed to win a race since December 2021 after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s controversial last-lap World Championship win that year.

Since then, Red Bull and the Dutch driver have been utterly dominant, while Mercedes’ car has failed to adjust to the new design regulations that went into effect in the 2022 season. Despite being the most successful team in F1 history, Ferrari has also had to deal with its own struggles over the past few years and hasn’t won a constructor or driver’s championship since 2008.

What To Watch For

With Hamilton turning 40 at the start of the 2025 season, the Ferrari seat will likely be his last chance to overtake Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven world titles. However, it remains to be seen how Ferrari will deal with having Leclerc, their current top driver, and Hamilton on the same team. Despite being pushed by his younger teammate George Russell, Hamilton has remained the de facto lead driver at Mercedes.

Big Number

103. That is the total number of Formula 1 Grands Prix won by Hamilton, the most by any driver in the sport’s history. Michael Schumacher is in second place with 91 wins.

This article was first published on forbes.com.

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