In football it is Transfer Deadline Day, but the transfer of the day may well come from motorsport. Lewis Hamilton’s 12th season at Mercedes will also be his last with the British racing team. From 2025, the seven-time world champion will defend the colors of Ferrari.
It had been buzzing all day that Lewis Hamilton would leave Mercedes and at exactly 8 p.m. European time the confirmation came: 2024 will be his last year for the British racing team, from 2025 the 39-year-old Hamilton will drive for Ferrari, where he will have “a multi-year contract”.
“It’s been a fantastic 11 years and I’m so happy with what we’ve achieved,” said the seven-time world champion.
“I have been part of this team since I was 13, this is where I grew up. It was therefore the most difficult decision of my life to leave here.”
“But I think this is the right time to take this step, I am looking forward to this new challenge.”
He doesn’t think it’s a problem that Hamilton still has to race against Ferrari this year. “I will do everything I can to make my last season with the Silver Arrows (Mercedes’ nickname) memorable.”
I’ve been part of this team since I was 13, this is where I grew up.
“Our relationship with Lewis is one of the most successful collaborations in this sport,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. “Lewis will always be part of the history of this team.”
“But we also knew that this marriage would one day come to an end. We understand that Lewis was ready for a new challenge. The future also looks bright for us.”
One of the victims of this transfer is Carlos Sainz, who has to give up his place at Ferrari to Hamilton. “I will soon announce news about my future,” says the Spaniard. “I will continue to do my best for Ferrari until the end.”
Does he take a step back?
Lewis Hamilton has been racing for Mercedes since 2013. Whether the Briton takes a step forward is a question mark.
Last year he finished in his Mercedes ahead of the (faster) Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc. Hamilton finished 3rd in the championship, behind the unapproachable Red Bulls. Leclerc finished 2023 as number 5, Sainz raced to 7th place in the World Championship.
Will Hamilton get more out of the Prancing Horse?