Lewis Hamilton to join Ferrari: Mercedes confirm seven-time F1 world champion activated release clause to leave team

Lewis Hamilton will be leaving Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season after 11 years to join Ferrari, where he will partner Charles Leclerc in a blockbuster line-up; Hamilton has signed 'multi-year deal' with Ferrari; watch every F1 race in 2024 live on Sky Sports F1

By Nigel Chiu and James Galloway

Sky F1's Martin Brundle believes Lewis Hamilton might have become dissatisfied at Mercedes and could be seeking a new challenge at Ferrari.

Mercedes have revealed Lewis Hamilton activated a release clause to leave the team to move to Ferrari for the 2025 F1 season.

Ferrari confirmed on Thursday evening that seven-time world champion Hamilton has joined the team on a multi-year deal from next season.

"The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Lewis Hamilton will part ways at the end of the 2024 season," read a Mercedes statement.

"Lewis has activated a release option in the contract announced last August and this season will therefore be his last driving for the Silver Arrows."

Hamilton added: "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 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 per cent committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember."

Also See:

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz, Damon Hill and Karun Chandhok have their say on the monumental news that Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari in 2025.

Hamilton will partner Charles Leclerc at the Italian team in a blockbuster line-up featuring two of F1's fastest drivers and biggest names. It leaves Carlos Sainz looking for another seat on the grid beyond the end of this season when his contract expires.

"Following today's news, Scuderia Ferrari and myself will part ways at the end of 2024," said a statement from Sainz.

"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."

Sky F1's Jenson Button would like to see his former teammate Fernando Alonso replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the 2025 season.

Wolff: We accept Hamilton's decision

Hamilton, who turned 39 in January and will be 40 by the time he starts his new career in Italy, has won six of his seven world titles at Mercedes since joining from McLaren in 2013 in a period when driver and team have rewritten F1's record books.

Mercedes will now begin a search for Hamilton's replacement, with George Russell on a deal in the other seat until the end of 2025.

"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," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Damon Hill and Natalie Pinkham debate whether Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari is the biggest in history on a special edition of the F1 Show.

"Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history. 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."

Image: Lewis Hamilton's stats at McLaren and Mercedes

Hamilton and Ferrari finally tying the knot

Sky Sports News' Craig Slater explains why Lewis Hamilton is taking a 'calculated risk' by moving from Mercedes to Ferrari in the 2025 F1 season.

A high-profile marriage between F1's current most famous driver and its most famous team has been speculated at irregular intervals for years but a final chance of a union had appeared to pass them by when Hamilton agreed a two-year Mercedes contract extension last August which was set to take him to the eve of his 41st birthday.

But that has now all changed in the most unexpected of manners.

Although he had spoken with admiration about the Ferrari and its history in the past, and owns Ferrari road cars, Hamilton had also previously made clear he would be content were his record-breaking career to end without driving in motorsport's most famous red.

When asked whether he'd feel unfulfilled if he never drove for Ferrari, ,Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton provided an insightful answer back in 2019.

Hamilton's association with Mercedes dates back to 1998 when he first joined McLaren, who were then part-owned by Mercedes, as a 13-year-old. Speaking in 2019, Hamilton spoke about the importance of those long-standing ties and acknowledged that "when you are part of Mercedes you are part of a family for a lifetime, provided you stay with them".

But he also caveated that by adding: "Loyalty is a very, very key part but if there's a point in my life where I decide that I want a change then that [joining Ferrari] could potentially be an option."

The Sky F1 pundits on Hamilton's blockbuster move

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz, Damon Hill and Karun Chandhok have their say on the monumental news that Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari in 2025.

Martin Brundle: "Lewis has had a couple of years of not winning a race and we've seen a couple of other changes he's made, bringing Marc Hynes back, who was his long-time mentor and eyes and ears in the paddock.

"I think he's probably gone 'I'm going to stop focusing on all of the things outside of racing and get back to Lewis Hamilton the racing driver'. I think this is a wonderful opportunity to motivate him and energise him for this phase of his career.

"There are a few drivers who seem to have an energy and determination to keep going. Fernando Alonso is one and Lewis Hamilton is another."

Karun Chandhok: "Somehow, somewhere, he's either lost confidence in the Mercedes project and doesn't believe they can give him a chance to fight Max Verstappen, or it's just the romantic lure of driving in Ferrari red."

Damon Hill: "Lewis has a racer's instinct as to which way the wind is blowing and I think he may have actually pulled a blinder - just like he did when he left McLaren and went to Mercedes."

24 races in 2024! Watch every round of next season live on Sky Sports F1, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership

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