Lewis Hamilton leaves Mercedes after ’11 amazing years’ and moves to Ferrari |  UK News

Lewis Hamilton leaves Mercedes after ’11 amazing years’ and moves to Ferrari | UK News

The 39-year-old says he will be “forever grateful” for Mercedes’ “amazing support” but now it’s time to face another challenge.

Friday 2 February 2024 03:59, UK

F1 star Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of next season and join Ferrari in 2025.

“I’ve had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together,” the 39-year-old British driver said in a statement.

“Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old.

“That’s where I grew up, so making the decision to leave was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

“But the time has come for me to do this and I’m happy to take on another challenge.”

Read more:
Hamilton has the opportunity to do something amazing at Ferrari – analysis

Ferrari confirmed at X that they will enter a “multi-year contract” in 2025 – the fans seem to agree, with 176,000 fans in the first 40 minutes.

The seven-time winner is expected to replace Carlos Sanz in the famous Italian team.

Sainz’s contract expires at the end of 2024, while another Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc, recently agreed to a new long-term deal.

Hamilton he had previously been linked with Ferrari, but signed a two-year £100m contract last summer to stay at Mercedes.

The move ends a remarkable partnership, Hamilton won six world titles between 2014 and 2020.

However, Mercedes fell off the pace and have not won a race since 2021.

The team said Hamilton activated the release clause included in the contract he signed last year.

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. Photo: Reuters

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the link-up was the most successful sporting partnership he had ever seen.

“However, we knew that our contract would end at some point, and that day has come,” Wolff said.

“We welcome Lewis’s desire for new challenges, and our future opportunities are exciting to consider.

“But for now, we still have one season to go, and we want to race to achieve a strong 2024.”

Ferrari Frederic Vasseur and Lewis Hamilton. Photo: XBR/Alamy

Hamilton said in a statement that he would be “thankful” to Mercedes’ “incredible support” and friendship with Wolff’s leadership.

“I’m 100% committed to doing my best this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows a memorable one,” he added.

The new season starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 February.

‘Dream’ living in red

Hamilton told ESPN last year that he would be “lying” if he said he had “never considered ending my career elsewhere”.

“I thought about seeing the Ferrari drivers at the shows on the track and, of course, you wonder what it would be like to be in red,” he added.

Damon Hill and Hamilton. Photo: Reuters

Former world champion Damon Hill said Hamilton should be smart from 2021, lost the lead in the closing moments of the final race – and that’s the topic – after re-starting the argument.

Hill told Sky that Hamilton was “licking his wounds”.

“Maybe he didn’t think there were strong signals from Mercedes that they were going to solve their problems, that they were going to give him a winning car,” Hill said.

“They don’t want to hang around to make numbers.

“Maybe Ferrari it’s just adding the spice you need to motivate yourself one more time for that last push – and the way out if you’ve got a Ferrari.”

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Asked if the move would improve his chances of winning another title, Hill said probably not.

“If Ferrari’s chances are as good as Mercedes, then what about Ferrari? Ferrari has cachet,” he said.

“It is also different, there is always a spring in your movement if you change to a new team, the hope of going somewhere”.

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