Lewis Hamilton has shocked the motorsport world today with the announcement that he’s moving to Scuderia Ferrari from the 2025 season onwards, leaving the Mercedes team with which he’s been since 2013 and won six of his seven world championships.
Last year, Hamilton renewed his Mercedes contract through to the end of 2025, but the contract had a release option, which Hamilton has chosen to activate. Ferrari has voiced interest in Hamilton’s services on multiple occasions in the past, and Hamilton said in 2021 he’d briefly considered the move, but until now, he’s been ultimately loyal to Mercedes.
Hamilton will replace Carlos Sainz at Ferrari to partner multiple race winner Charles Leclerc from next season. This leaves Mercedes without a driver and Sainz without a seat for now, although there are mumbles of Sainz being linked with Audi’s 2026 entry into the sport.
The move ends what will be 12 years of Hamilton’s tenure at Mercedes at the end of the season, during which time he’s racked up (so far) 82 race wins on his way to those six championships. While Mercedes and Ferrari are both regarded as two of the ‘big three’ F1 teams, both have failed to come up with an answer to Red Bulland Max Verstappen's utter dominance during the last couple of years, with Mercedes let down by uncompetitive cars and Ferrari by constant strategy blunders.
It’s not the first shock move for Hamilton. When he announced his move to Mercedes from McLaren, the team with whom he won his first world championship in 2008, it came as a surprise considering Merc’s relatively average performance between 2010 and 2013. However, Mercedes nailed the new round of regulations that came into force in 2014, leading to one of the biggest periods of dominance the sport has ever seen.
Another big set of regulation changes is coming in for 2026, so perhaps Hamilton knows something about Ferrari’s car that we don’t. Despite him approaching 40, very much not a spring chicken by F1 driver standards, he’s been very vocal about wanting more championships (currently, he’s tied with Michael Schumacher for the most overall). Could this be a way of getting them?
Speaking about the move, Scuderia Ferrari's official X account simply said: "Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract."
Mercedes-AMG F1, meanwhile, said: "Most wins, pole positions and podium finishes in F1 history. The partnership between Mercedes-Benz and @lewishamilton has been like no other. Here’s to 24 races together in 2024 to sign off an unforgettable relationship."