Lewis Hamilton is set to embark on one of the most significant Formula 1 transitions in history as he bids farewell to Mercedes at the close of this season to join Ferrari.
The seven-time F1 World Champion will part ways with the Silver Arrows after the 2024 campaign, choosing to sever ties with the German marque after a connection spanning back to his early teens.
After rising through the ranks at McLaren and clinching his maiden world title in 2008, Hamilton made his first seismic career shift by joining the Mercedes works team in 2013.
Despite initial uncertainties, this move proved inspired, with Hamilton securing an additional six championships, matching Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven.
Following a contentious loss of the eighth title to Max Verstappen in 2021 due to a disputed safety car restart procedure, Hamilton and Mercedes found themselves trailing behind Verstappen and Red Bull.
Verstappen clinched three consecutive drivers’ titles, and Red Bull secured consecutive constructors’ championships with their superior car under new ground effect regulations.
Although Hamilton had committed to Mercedes until 2025, he opted to terminate the contract and sign a multi-year deal with Ferrari, replacing Carlos Sainz Jr alongside Charles Leclerc.
Throughout Ferrari’s history, they have typically favoured one primary driver over an equal partnership within the team.
Hamilton, who has experienced both scenarios at McLaren and Mercedes, may need to adjust to a subordinate role at Ferrari, as noted by former F1 driver Hans Joachim-Stuck.
Stuck remarked, “Hamilton is a special personality. But whether he can cope with the Ferrari system, where everything works a little differently, is something I’m curious to see.”
He added, “Hamilton has to be subordinate. Ferrari is Italy. The press is completely different