Lewis Hamilton ditches Mercedes as he finalises shocking Ferrari contract

Lewis Hamilton will replace Carlos Sainz at Ferrari for the 2025 season.

2024 will be Lewis Hamilton’s 12th and final season as a Mercedes driver, following Thursday evening’s announcement that he will be completing a huge move to Ferrari for 2025.

Up until Hamilton signed a two-year extension with Mercedes at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, Hamilton was linked with a remarkable move to the Italians; however, both parties always stressed that there was no truth in the rumours.

As a result, many assumed that the seven-time World Champion would finish his F1 career with the Silver Arrows or at least be with them until the end of his new deal which expires at the end of 2025.

A clause in his new deal, though, has allowed him to complete arguably the biggest driver transfer since he left McLaren for Mercedes at the end of 2012.

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Hamilton will be in red for the 2025 season and presumably for 2026, as he’s agreed to a multi-year contract.

It means that he’ll remain in Formula 1 at least for the first season of the new power unit regulations, which he’ll enter with Ferrari.

His arrival next year has come at the expense of Carlos Sainz, who will leave the Maranello-based outfit at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Hamilton moving to Ferrari is something many only dreamed about, although the 39-year-old has insisted that it’s time for a “new challenge”.

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In a statement released by the team confirming that 2024 will be his last campaign with them, Hamilton admitted that it’s the right time to leave the manufacturer who have been in his life since he was 13 years old.

“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team [Mercedes] and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together,” said Hamilton.

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“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 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. 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.”