Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes driver to join Ferrari in 2025 on multi-year deal

  • By Lorraine McKenna
  • BBC Sport

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Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion and has won 103 Grands Prix

Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season to join Formula One rivals Ferrari in 2025 on a multi-year deal.

The 39-year-old signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes last summer.

However, his contract has a break clause after one year, which Briton has opted to exercise.

“I'm very proud of the success I've had in 11 years with Mercedes,” said Hamilton.

The seven-time world champion added: “Mercedes has been a part of my life since I was 13 years old.

“This is where I grew up, so making the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I had to make.

“But the time is right for me to make this move and I'm excited to take on a new challenge.”

Hamilton's move to the Italian team is one of the biggest driver transfers Formula 1 has ever seen.

He is set to partner Charles Leclerc in 2025, the Spaniard facing Carlos Sainz in his last year as a Ferrari driver.

Hamilton joined Mercedes from McLaren in the 2013 season and won six of his seven championships with the team.

He won 82 of his record 103 races with the Silver Arrows.

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Can Hamilton win his eighth world title with Ferrari?

Team principal Toto Wolff said the Mercedes and Hamilton pairing “has become the most successful the sport has ever seen”.

“It's something we can look back on with pride,” he added.

Hamilton said: “I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, and I will be forever grateful for Toto's friendship and leadership in particular.

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

Sainz confirmed via X, previously on Twitter, that he will leave Ferrari at the end of this season.

“We still have a long season ahead of us and as always, I will give my absolute best for the team and DeFocus around the world,” Sines wrote.

The 29-year-old said news on his future would be announced “in due course”.

Hamilton's dominant run with Mercedes has stalled in recent seasons as the team has been unable to provide him with a car to challenge the might of Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

His last race win was at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021, and a year later he finished sixth in the championship – two places lower than new team-mate George Russell.

Hamilton finished the 2023 campaign third in the standings, but 341 points behind Verstappen, who won his third consecutive drivers' title.

Hamilton's Ferrari move 'will be incredibly dynamic' – Mansell

Rumors that Hamilton was going to join Ferrari had many supporters wondering if the silly season had started earlier this year, but in this case the rumor was 100% true.

Nigel Mansell, who spent two seasons with the Scuderia from 1989 to 1990, thinks the big move will be a positive one for the sport.

“I think it's fantastic for the fans and incredibly dynamic,” Mansell told BBC Sport.

“For Lewis, I think he will probably end his career with Ferrari, which is a dream come true for him, I imagine, because going to Ferrari is everything.”

Hamilton celebrated his 39th birthday last month and by the time the 2025 season starts, he will be the latest F1 driver to still be racing at the age of 40.

Mansell won the 1992 drivers' championship in a second race with Williams and said age played no part in Hamilton's competitive ability.

“People say Lewis is too old now,” he said. “At the age of 39? No. I won the championship at the age of 39, I could have gone, but got involved in politics.

“But Lewis, if he's motivated, he's got a lot, if not a lot of years left, I think that's fantastic.

“Yes, Louis can do it, but I'm sure Max [Verstappen] He will do everything in his power to stop him. I'm sure Ferrari will do everything they can to stop him this next year.

“But I think we have a great Formula 1 season coming up and it looks like we're going to have a fantastic season in 2025.”

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