Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes by the end of the 2024 season. The Briton agreed to join Scuderia Ferrari on a multi-year contract in 2025, the teams confirmed on Thursday.
In a move for the ages, probably the most significant driver switch of an era, seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has triggered a release option in his contract with Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, making 2024 his last season with the German outfit after 11 years together at the pinnacle of motorsport.
The 39-year-old will join Scuderia Ferrari in 2025 on a multi-year contract, partnering Monesgasque driver Charles Leclerc, who has recently signed a contract extension beyond 2024 with the Maranello squad.
“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team, and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together. Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old,” the British racer outlined.
“It’s a place where I have grown up; 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 am excited to be taking on a new challenge.”
“I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto for his friendship and leadership, and I want to finish on a high together.”
“I am 100 percent committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows one to remember.”
The rumors started to circle early on Thursday, making waves through the motorsport world, pointing out that an official announcement would be imminent.
In a press release by Mercedes, Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO, commented: “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.”
“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.”
The Silver Arrows partnership with Hamilton saw them achieve six Driver’s world championships, seven with the Mercedes brand overall.
A short team statement by the Scuderia followed, confirming the shocking…