The Roar
The Roar


Hamilton on the move: F1 world rocked as legend confirms shock shift after hitting ejector seat on Mercedes

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
1st February, 2024

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, Formula One’s most successful driver of all-time, will race for Ferrari from 2025 after activating a release option in the Mercedes contract he signed in August.

The bombshell news, confirmed first by Mercedes and then in a one-line statement from Ferrari on Thursday, came after a day of mounting speculation with the world awaiting news from Maranello and Brackley.

“Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract,” Ferrari said.

Formula 1, pre-season testing, Day 3: Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team on track in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton. (Photo by Hasan Bratic/picture alliance via Getty Images)

“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together. Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old,” said Hamilton in the Mercedes statement.

“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.”

Hamilton said he wanted to finish his time at Mercedes on a high and was “100 per cent committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember”.


The 39-year-old Briton is set to replace Spanish driver Carlos Sainz at Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc and gives the Italian team a world champion in one of their cars for the first time since Germany’s Sebastian Vettel left in 2020.

It’s the biggest driver move since Hamilton left a winning McLaren for then-unproven Mercedes at the end of 2012.

Ferrari are the oldest, most glamorous and successful team but without a driver’s title since 2007 and like Hamilton, who’s not won a race since December 2021, they’re desperate to get back to the top.

His seven crowns are matched only by German Michael Schumacher, who raced for Ferrari from 1996 to 2006 during a golden era at Maranello.

Hamilton’s switch raised plenty of questions about why he had decided to leave, a month before the start of the season, but it extends his career into the sport’s new engine era in 2026 and keeps him firmly in the limelight.


He has remained close to Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur after winning Formula Three and GP2 (now Formula Two) championships with the Frenchman’s ART team as a junior in 2005 and 2006.

“Our relationship with Lewis has become the most successful the sport has seen, and that’s something we can look back on with pride,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

“Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history.

“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.”

Winner of a record 103 races and with 104 pole positions in a career that started in 2007, Hamilton has not had the car to challenge Red Bull and Max Verstappen in recent seasons.

The Briton was third overall last year while Mercedes were runners-up.


Hamilton will have a well-established and quick team mate in Leclerc, whose contract was renewed last week for several more seasons.

Mercedes must now start the search for a partner to Britain’s George Russell.