Mercedes confirm stunning Lewis Hamilton exit with dream Ferrari move imminent

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 driver, in the paddock at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton is bidding farewell to Mercedes after more than a decade with the Brackley-based team.

Mercedes has confirmed Lewis Hamilton will depart at the conclusion of the 2024 season, with the seven-time World Champion set to join Ferrari.

Confirming an overnight bombshell in Italian media, Mercedes has revealed Lewis Hamilton will not drive for the Brackley-based team in 2025 as he will depart at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Despite signing a new two-year deal with Mercedes towards the end of 2023, Hamilton had an option on the second year of that deal – and has exercised that option by setting off for pastures new, which was quickly confirmed to be a sensational switch to Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton to leave Mercedes after 2024 F1 season

Mercedes released a statement to the media on Thursday evening following a day of speculation, confirming that Hamilton has activated a release option in his contract with Brackley.

As a result, 2024 will be his last season racing for Mercedes, having joined at the end of 2012 and going on to win – prior to 2024 – six titles with the team, forming the most successful team/driver partnership in the sport’s history.

“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together,” Hamilton said of his decision to depart.

“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.”

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Confirmation swiftly followed that Ferrari would be his destination come 2025, with Carlos Sainz confirming in a statement he would depart the Scuderia at the end of his contract.

Hamilton has only ever raced with Mercedes power in F1, having made his debut with then-works Mercedes team McLaren in 2007. With Hamilton choosing to leave the comfort and safety of the team with whom he’s raced for the past 11 years, Wolff paid tribute to his departing driver.

“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; Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history,” the Mercedes team boss and CEO said.

“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.”

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