Lewis Hamilton in ’emotional’ admission as last Mercedes launched before Ferrari switch

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton looks emotional with prominent Mercedes and Ferrari badges alongside him.

Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of 2024.

Lewis Hamilton has admitted it was “emotional and very surreal” to watch the launch of the Mercedes W15 ahead of his big move to Ferrari for the F1 2025 season.

Mercedes unveiled the W15 car on Wednesday morning less than two weeks after Hamilton announced that he will leave the team at the end of 2024.

Hamilton’s exit will bring an end to the most successful team-driver partnership in F1 history, with the British driver winning six of his seven World Championships with Mercedes having arrived from McLaren at the beginning of 2013.

Lewis Hamilton details emotions as Mercedes W15 launched

Speaking at the launch of the W15 at Silverstone, Hamilton revealed the emotions were flowing as his last-ever Mercedes was revealed to the world.

He said: “It’s obviously been emotional.

“It’s very surreal to be here, given that I came here in 2013 – 11 years with the team, starting my 12th.

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“It is such a privilege to work with a group of people where you see the work they do over the winter, we’ve gone through this process over the last couple of years.

“You see a car come together at the beginning of the year – it’s the most exciting part of the season really, when you see in everyone’s launches.

“This is the first time I’ve seen the car come together as a whole, but to know everything that’s underneath the hood – which people won’t get to see but George [Russell] and I will get to experience on the track – it’s exciting.”

Hamilton faces the unusual prospect of spending the whole season with Mercedes in the knowledge that he will leave the team at the end of the season.

Yet the 39-year-old is adamant that he remains focused on returning the team to the top, with Hamilton without a race win since the penultimate race of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia.

He said: “The focus through the whole of winter training is getting the team back to where we once were.

“We’ve had this difficult couple of years which I think has been really grounding for us. It’s helped us regroup.

“We’ve had to relook [sic] at things and it’s now just going through the important process – being really diligent with our work, understanding the data, understanding the car, maximising for practice.

“Even just the one lap we might get in the rain today might give George and I a bit of a feeling of what’s to come.”

Read next: First look at Lewis Hamilton’s final Mercedes F1 car, the W15