Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton announced Thursday that he is moving from Mercedes to Ferrari for the 2025 Formula One season.
Hamilton, whose 103 wins are the most in F1 history, has been with Mercedes since leaving McLaren in 2013.
Ferrari confirmed that Hamilton will be joining their team on a multi-year contract.
“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together,” Hamilton said in a release. “… It’s a place where I have grown up, so 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’m excited to be taking on a new challenge. I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto (Wolff) for his friendship and leadership and I want to finish on a high together.
“I am 100% committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember.”
Mercedes officials confirmed that the 39-year-old British driver activated a release clause in the two-year contract extension he signed last year.
“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,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said. “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.”
After winning his first F1 title with McLaren in 2008, Hamilton added six more with Mercedes (2014-15, 2017-19 and 2020) to match Michael Schumacher’s circuit record.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has won the past three titles.
Hamilton is expected to race alongside Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who signed a long-term contract last week.
The move leaves Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz looking for a new team and Mercedes driver George Russell looking for a new teammate.
Ferrari has not claimed an F1 driver’s title since Kimi Raikkonen won in 2007.
Hamilton has not won a race since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in December 2021. He finished third in the driver’s standings in 2023 behind Verstappen and Sergio Perez, both of Red Bull.
–Field Level Media