Thunderclap on F1: Briton Lewis Hamilton, seven-time world champion in Formula 1, will join Ferrari in 2025 after 12 seasons at Mercedes, with his sights set on an eighth world title that will allow him to overtake German Michael Schumacher in Formula 1 history
“Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will join the team in 2025, as part of a multi-year contract,” Ferrari announced in a press release issued on Thursday evening, a few minutes after Mercedes announced its departure. Star of the pilot in the season finale.
Within a few hours, rumors of Hamilton leaving for the Scuderia became reality.
Hamilton (39 years old) responded, quoting the Mercedes team with which he has had a contract since 2013, saying: “The time has come for me to take this step and I am happy to take on a new challenge.”
“I will always be grateful for the amazing support from the Mercedes family, especially Toto [Wolff, patron de l’écurie] The seven-time world champion, a record he holds with German Michael Schumacher, added: “Thanks to his friendship and leadership, I want us to finish the race in style.”
The multiple champion extended his contract with Mercedes last summer until the end of the 2025 season. But he had a release clause that he would fulfill at the end of next season, the German manufacturer said on Thursday.
“One of the most difficult decisions.”
Hamilton continued: “The decision to leave was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make,” stressing that “he spent 11 exceptional years with this team.”
Ferrari will be the third team for the Briton, who arrived in Formula 1 in 2007 with McLaren and was crowned world champion the following season at the age of 23.
Moving to Mercedes in 2013, the driver with 103 Grand Prix victories pushed the limits of his discipline by winning a further six world titles, from 2014 to 2020.
But after the disappointment of the title that he lost during the last race of the 2021 season to the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), the Briton lived in 2022 the first year in his career without a lead or a win, and he is the record holder for each one.
In question is the Mercedes car, which had difficulty adapting to the technical disruptions that came into effect at the beginning of the season. Hamilton has also seen his almost unchallenged dominance in recent years undermined by his extremely consistent young teammate George Russell, who finished the 2022 season in fourth place, while Hamilton was only sixth.
And in 2023, another season without a victory for Hamilton, who nevertheless rose to third place in the world championship behind the outcast Verstappen and Mexican Sergio Perez, in the other Red Bull seat.
Associated with Charles Leclerc
Hamilton will replace Spaniard Carlos Sainz next year in the ranks of the legendary Horse team. He will be linked with Monaco's Charles Leclerc, who extended his contract with Ferrari earlier this year.
The duo will have the difficult task of returning the Scuderia to its former glory, which has been hoping for the title since 2007 among drivers (Kimi Raikkonen) and since 2008 among constructors.
Hamilton will also find Frenchman Fred Vasseur at the helm of the Scuderia, who has already mentored him in the lower categories – in the European Formula 3 Series in 2005 and in the GP2 Series in 2006, with titles up for grabs.
With the announcement of his arrival at Maranello in place of Carlos Sainz, the game of musical chairs for the 2025 season has begun.
The majority of drivers entering this year see their contracts expiring at the end of 2024. Among them – in addition to Sainz who could return to Sauber in 2026 – Thai Alexander Albon, currently at Williams, could claim The vacant seat left by Hamilton next year.
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