Lewis Hamilton dropped the hammer by recently announcing he will leave Mercedes and join Ferrari next year replacing Carlos Sainz. Hamilton signed a two-year contract with Mercedes, which expires at the end of 2025, but he will spend just one more season with the team.
Hamilton activated a release clause in his Mercedes contract, and Ferrari confirmed on Thursday evening that the seven-time world champion is joining them on a “multi-year” deal. Mercedes employees in Brackley were informed of the news earlier on Thursday afternoon before the official announcement from the team.
Charles Leclerc signed a new contract with Ferrari last week and will be Hamilton’s team-mate at Ferrari from next year. Hamilton, a seven-time world champion is the most successful driver in F1 history with 103 wins and 104 pole positions. Michael Schumacher is the only other driver with seven world titles.
Hamilton was linked to Ferrari for this year, but signed a new two-year contract last summer, along with Mercedes teammate George Russell, to stay until the end of 2025.
Hamilton’s surprise announcement leaves Mercedes in a tricky position as they are losing a driver seen as one of the greatest of all time. Sainz, who was the only non-Red Bull race winner last year, also loses out and is now without a drive for 2025.
The new 2024 F1 season begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29 to March 2 – live on Sky Sports F1.