Lewis Hamilton set to leave Mercedes for Ferrari in 2025
The 2024 silly season has started early!
Credit: Sky Sports F1 News (skysports.com)
It may be deadline day for football, but nothing will beat the monumental announcement that has come from the world of Formula 1 which is Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari.
The surprise news came earlier today that the seven-time World Champion will be leaving the German team at the end of the 2024 season and moving to Ferrari for 2025.
The Brit is expected to join current Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who last week signed a new long-term contract with Ferrari, with Carlos Sainz, Leclerc’s teammate at present, set to leave due to his contract expiring at the end of this season.
Hamilton had only just signed a new deal with Mercedes during the 2023 season that would have run out at the end of the 2025 season. However, it is said that the deal is only for one year with an option for a second, hence why he’s able to leave.
Mercedes was all he knew
Hamilton has been racing for the Mercedes team since 2013, having moved there from McLaren, where he started his F1 career and had one world title with in 2008.
Since joining Mercedes, the pair have gone on to form the most successful driver-team partnership in F1 history, winning six drivers titles and claiming 82 race wins together.
Mercedes power is also all Hamilton has ever known in F1, as McLaren was using a Mercedes-Benz engine in their cars for the duration of Lewis’ tenure with the team.
The pair have seen less successful results over the past two seasons, with Hamilton's failure to win a race in the 2022 season marking the first year in his career that he didn't win at least one race. That winless streak then followed into 2023.
Mercedes as a whole has experienced the top step of the podium just once in those two years, with George Russell’s victory at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, where Hamilton finished second and may have had the chance to win if it weren't for a first lap collision with Max Verstappen.
Hamilton has seemed to go back and forth with his team's fortunes. One weekend he’ll state that they are all in the fight to get back to the very front together, the next he’ll be trashing the car and the team for not listening to his direction for the car design.
As temperamental as his feelings towards the team may be, there is some understanding when you consider his penchant for success and the dominant era they had shared from 2014 to 2021.
Ferrari securing their future
The 2024 season is set to be a manic one, not just on track but between the teams and drivers, with many personnel across the grid seeing their contracts run out at the end of the year.
It seems then that Ferrari wanted to get ahead of the so-called ‘silly season’ this summer by securing their future now.
Charles Leclerc re-signed with the team last week in a deal that reportedly runs through to the end of 2029.
There had previously been a lot of speculation that current McLaren driver Lando Norris would make the move to partner Leclerc when his contract ran out at the end of 2025, but those thoughts were dispelled when Norris re-signed with the Woking team.
These moves may have been down to the teams around the grid getting wind of Ferrari’s deal to sign Hamilton, thus moving to secure their prized assets before Mercedes came enquiring.
Hamilton will be pairing up with Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur once again, who was the team boss of ART Grand Prix in the GP2 Series (now known as Formula 2) that the Brit drove for and won with in 2006.
Formula 1 on Sky Sports
While official confirmation of Lewis Hamilton’s departure is set to be made supposedly later today, one thing that can be confirmed is where you can watch the 2024 F1 season.
Sky Sports is the exclusive home of Formula 1, so if you’re interested in catching every race and session this season, be sure to get sorted with your Sky Sports package now.
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