Formula 1

Mercedes and Ferrari make Hamilton's 2025 F1 team switch official

by Jack Cozens
3 min read

Lewis Hamilton's shock exit from Mercedes to join Ferrari for the 2025 Formula 1 team season and beyond has been formally acknowledged by both teams.

Seven-time champion Hamilton agreed what was announced as a new two-year deal with Mercedes last summer that covered the 2024 and 2025 F1 seasons, but it has since emerged that the second year was optional on Hamilton’s part.

On Thursday morning speculation linking Hamilton to a Ferrari move first broke. This was later corroborated by The Race's sources, which indicated a deal for 2025 had been agreed.

Neither Mercedes or Ferrari acknowledged this initially, but Mercedes was later reported to have held an all-personnel meeting at its Brackley base that team principal Toto Wolff called-in for, announcing to the team that Hamilton will leave following the conclusion of this season.

Mercedes confirmed later on Thursday evening that Hamilton had activated a release clause in his contract.

Stake

"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," said Wolff.

"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."

Ferrari acknowledged the news with a very simple statement reading just "Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract".

Hamilton, whose deal to join Ferrari for 2025 will mean he races in F1 past his 40th birthday, will race alongside Charles Leclerc, who had a multi-year deal to remain at Ferrari announced last month.

The 2024 season will therefore mark Hamilton's last at the Mercedes team with which he has won six of his seven F1 titles, 82 races and recorded 78 pole positions.

Mercedes has however struggled in the first two years of the ground-effect era and Hamilton, despite finishing third in last year's drivers' championship, has not won a race since the Saudi Arabian GP in December 2021, before the current rules cycle began.

His switch to Ferrari comes at the expense of Carlos Sainz, who has been with the team since replacing Sebastian Vettel for the 2021 season.

"Following today's news, Scuderia Ferrari and myself will part ways at the end of 2024," Sainz wrote on social media.

"We still have a long season ahead of us and, like always, I will give my absolute best for the team and for the Tisofi around the world.

"News about my future will be announced in due course."

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