Photo by Michael Hutchinson via Unsplash
Early morning on Thursday, February 1st Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team accidentally leaked the news about the 39 year old British driver. On X, the teams posted Hamilton was leaving Mercedes-AMG at the end of the 2024 season and joining Ferrari on a multi-year contract at the beginning of the 2025 season. About an hour to two later, both teams deleted their posts on the situation.
The Mercedes-AMG team besides Toto Wolff had yet to know about the departure of their number 1 driver. The news being out early caused an emergency meeting with the team to state what was going to happen moving forward. On Wednesday, January 31st during breakfast, Wolff was made aware of Hamilton’s decision to move to Ferrari.
Sky Sport also announced that the driver were to join Ferrari in 2025, later deleting the post on Tik Tok and instead posting a video that Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS teams had an announcement at 7pm GMT [3pm AST].
At 2:59pm, AST Mercedes-AMG posted once again that Lewis Hamilton officially takes a step back from Mercedes-AMG, the team which he’s been apart for 11 years that also gave him 6 out his 7 world titles. In August, Hamilton had finalised a two year extension with the Formula 1 team, which had an added release clause. Meaning Hamilton could have chosen to stay with Mercedes-AMG up until the end of the 2025 season. Then at around 4pm AST Ferrari, making their post public again, re-confirming that Hamilton is expected to be a part of Ferrari.
This is what Hamilton has to say about leaving Mercedes-AMG:
”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. It’s a place where I have grown up, so making the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions 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 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.”
As of right now the papers aren’t yet fully signed. If Hamilton chooses to keep his word, the contract will be finalised by the end of the week. Resulting in Hamilton wearing red and the horse for the upcoming 2025 season.
While also replacing the only non-Redbull winner in 2023. The 29 year old Ferrari driver released his own statement on the situation. Here is what Carlos Sainz Jr. has claimed:
“Following today’s news, Scuderia Ferrari and myself will part ways at the end of 2024. We still have a long season ahead of us and, like always, I will give my absolute best for the team and for the Tifosi all around the world. News about my future will be announced in due course.”
Hamilton is going to try and pull off what he did near the beginning of his Formula 1 career. His rookie year in McLaren was 2007, then won his first world championship in 2008 with them. After not winning any championships with McLaren for four years, Hamilton switched to Mercedes-AMG. A year after  he signed with the silver constructors, Hamilton won his second world championship [first with them].
A lot of fans have been wondering why Wolff would let go of his number one driver so easily. Here’s what he has to say:
“We had a good hour of conversation, how he framed it to me is perfectly understandable. That he needed a new challenge, that he was looking for a different environment and that it was maybe the last possibility to do something else.”
Ayrton Senna was Hamilton’s inspiration for getting into Formula 1 and Senna wanted to join Ferrari before his career ended. Sadly, Senna didn’t get the chance to drive for Ferrari, as he was pronounced brain dead May 1st 1994 at age 34 on the San Marino Grand Prix at the Imola circuit in Italy, after his car smashed into a concrete barrier. Most fans believe this is why Hamilion is joining Ferrari, being able to drive for the team while he still has the liveable chance.