The Formula 1 world has been stunned by the reports that Lewis Hamilton is set to join Ferrari in 2025 on a multi-year contract.
Seven-times World Champion Lewis Hamilton is set to join Charles Leclerc at Ferrari next year. This will bring to an end what will be twelve seasons with the ‘Silver Arrows’. It has also been reported by Sky Sports that Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had informed the staff at the team’s factory in Brackley earlier today.
Mercedes and Ferrari have confirmed the news after hours of speculation surrounding the story. Mercedes have said that Hamilton has triggered a release clause in his contract. This has allowed him to join Scuderia Ferrari on a multi-year contract.
Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract. pic.twitter.com/moEMqUgzXH
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) February 1, 2024
Hamilton’s decision puts an end to what will be a 12-year partnership between him and Mercedes
Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013, after a barren end to his spell with McLaren, the team he joined as a youngster. In his second year with Mercedes, his once-cordial relationship with team-mate Nico Rosberg soured when both men competed for the 2014 title. Hamilton would come out on top in 2014 and again in 2015.
Partnered by Valtteri Bottas from 2017 to 2021, Hamilton dominated the sport in considerable fashion. Winning the next four Drivers’ Championships, he would equal the all-time record of seven titles set by Michael Schumacher.
Since losing the Championship to Max Verstappen in controversial circumstances in 2021, Hamilton has struggled. A lack of pace in the Mercedes cars over the past two years has seen Hamilton without a win since Saudi Arabia, in 2021.
Hamilton signed for a further two years with Mercedes at the end of August last year. However, the apparent get-out clause in his new contract has enabled him to complete what is a dream move for many drivers. He will become the 12th British man to drive for the Scuderia. He joins illustrious names including Mike Hawthorne, Peter Collins, John Surtees and Nigel Mansell.
This news now leaves Carlos Sainz out in the cold, who will now have to look for a new drive. Aston Martin and even Williams have been touted as potential avenues for the Spaniard. Additionally, there are rumours of a prospective move to the future Audi F1 project has also been rumoured. The two-time race-winner has been unable to match the pace of Leclerc who has signed a new contract.
All eyes will be on Mercedes and Ferrari now, and how their 2024 challengers will manage. This will partly determine whether Hamilton has made the right decision, as many are questioning.