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Ferrari confirm Lewis Hamilton as driver for 2025 F1 season

Ferrari confirm Lewis Hamilton as driver for 2025 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton will make a sensational move to Ferrari for the 2025 Formula One season on a multiyear contract, the Italian team confirmed on Thursday.

Hamilton, a seven-time world champion and winner of a record 103 races, will drive for Mercedes this coming season before replacing Carlos Sainz the following year.

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Hamilton, 39, signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes last year but exercised a release option to allow him to walk away from the team after just one season.

Hamilton said leaving Mercedes “was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.”

He added: “The time is right for me to take this step and I’m excited to be taking on a new challenge. I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal] for his friendship and leadership and I want to finish on a high together.

“I am 100% committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember.”

Ferrari, F1’s most successful team and the only one to have competed in every world championship season, has not won a drivers title since Kimi Raikkonen’s in 2007.

Hamilton, tied with Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher with seven titles, now has a chance to end the Italian team’s drought and move clear as F1’s most decorated champion in the process.

Were he to do so, he would become the first driver to win championships with three different teams since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957.

Rumours of Hamilton joining Ferrari have been common throughout his career, but Thursday’s news still appeared to come out of the blue — ESPN has been told even Mercedes was caught off guard, which is reflected in the fact they have not yet confirmed a driver to replace him.

ESPN sources confirmed the news of Hamilton’s switch on Thursday morning. Ferrari chairman John Elkann, known to be a long-time admirer of Hamilton’s ability, wanted Ferrari to add a big-name driver to partner Charles Leclerc going forward.

Leclerc recently signed a contract extension until at least 2026 — Elkann’s ambitions now explain why Ferrari had been stalling on doing similar with Sainz.

Leclerc has been with Ferrari since before he joined F1 but, despite forging a reputation as the sport’s fastest qualifier, questions remain about his ability to win a championship, having made a string of high-profile mistakes under pressure.

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