Official: Lewis Hamilton to Leave Mercedes and Join Ferrari in 2025

Official: Lewis Hamilton to Leave Mercedes and Join Ferrari in 2025

Ferrari announced on Thursday evening that the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, will be joining the Italian team in 2025 after spending 12 seasons with Mercedes.

Official: Lewis Hamilton to Leave Mercedes and Join Ferrari in 2025

This is a seismic transfer. February 1, 2024, will go down in F1 history as the day Ferrari acquired a seven-time world champion, hoping to turn him into an eight-time champion and surpass the legendary Michael Schumacher.

While Lewis Hamilton had signed a two-season contract with Mercedes last summer, it turns out that this extension will only last for one year. Starting in 2025, the British driver will be donning red, as the most decorated driver in F1, for the most decorated team. Ferrari officially confirmed this surprising move, for multiple seasons, especially in its timing, through a press release at the end of a rather tumultuous day where a mere rumor turned into news.

Discussions between John Elkann, Ferrari's chairman, and Hamilton since last year had indicated mutual interest in an alliance. However, considering Hamilton's contract with Mercedes, it was logical to assume that this partnership would materialize in 2026, if at all.

Thus, in 2025, Hamilton will experience his third team in 19 seasons (starting his 18th in March in Bahrain) after McLaren and Mercedes. He will be 40 when he joins Charles Leclerc, and it remains uncertain whether having a seven-time world champion alongside him will boost or hinder Leclerc's performance. Additionally, Hamilton will reunite with Frédéric Vasseur, with whom he won the F3 Euro Series in 2005 and GP2 in 2006 at ART Grand Prix. Can Hamilton break the curse of world champions joining Ferrari, from Alain Prost to Sebastian Vettel, including Fernando Alonso? Will he be the one to lead Scuderia to its first constructors' title since 2008?

Where will Carlos Sainz go?

This arrival undoubtedly leaves one unfortunate driver, Carlos Sainz, who envisioned continuing his journey in red, which began in 2021. However, what weight does the Spaniard carry compared to a seven-time world champion? He will now have to find refuge for the next season, possibly at Sauber, on the verge of becoming Audi in 2026. Mercedes will also have to replace the driver Toto Wolff likely envisioned finishing his career with him. The musical chairs game is set to begin after this eventful day. The silly season has kicked off early this year, and not a single tifoso is likely to complain.

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