Ferrari confirm Lewis Hamilton as driver for 2025 F1 season

Ferrari confirm Lewis Hamilton as driver for 2025 F1 season
Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will move from Mercedes to Ferrari next year [Frank Augstein/AP]

For the 2025 Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton will make a stunning switch to Ferrari on a multiyear contract, the Italian team announced on Thursday.

Seven-time world champion and record-breaking race winner Hamilton will drive for Mercedes this season before taking Carlos Sainz’s seat the following year.

The 39-year-old Hamilton signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes last year, but he also exercised his right to leave the team after just one season.

Resigning from Mercedes, according to Hamilton, “was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.”

I’m excited to be taking on a new challenge, and I think this is the right time for me to take this step, he continued. I want to end on a positive one with my Mercedes family, and I will always be incredibly thankful to Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal] for his friendship and leadership.

“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.”

Since Kimi Raikkonen’s victory in 2007, Ferrari, the most successful team in Formula One and the only one to have participated in every world championship season, has not won a driver’s title.

With seven titles, Hamilton is currently tied with Ferrari superstar Michael Schumacher and has the opportunity to break the drought for the Italian team and become the most decorated winner in Formula One history.

If he succeeded, he would be the first driver since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957 to win championships with three separate teams.

Although there have always been rumors that Hamilton might join Ferrari, the announcement on Thursday still seemed shocking. ESPN has been informed that even Mercedes was taken aback, as seen by the fact that they have not yet named a driver to take Hamilton’s spot.

The news of Hamilton’s transfer was validated by ESPN sources early on Thursday morning. John Elkann, the chairman of Ferrari and a longtime supporter of Hamilton’s abilities, desired that Ferrari bring in a high-profile driver to join Charles Leclerc moving forward.

Recently, Leclerc agreed to a contract extension that would last until at least 2026; Elkann’s goals now provide an explanation for Ferrari’s hesitation to do the same with Sainz.

Despite becoming known as the fastest qualifier in the sport, Leclerc has been with Ferrari since before he even entered Formula One. However, due to a series of high-profile errors made when under pressure, doubts are still raised regarding his capacity to win a title.

Although Hamilton and Ferrari team manager Fred Vasseur dismissed rumors that the British driver was going to sign a contract with the team before the Monaco Grand Prix last year, sources claim Elkann persisted in trying to get Hamilton’s signature even after he reached an extension with Mercedes and that talks heated up in the latter part of the year and into January.

Vasseur has been strong friends with Hamilton since they both worked together when he won the GP2 (now Formula Two) championship in 2006 with the ART outfit.

Prior to the shocking news on Thursday, Hamilton seemed content to finish his career with Mercedes, the team he joined in 2013 in what is widely regarded as one of the greatest driver acquisitions in recent memory.

During the most dominating period in Formula One history, which saw Mercedes win the constructors championship eight times in a row between 2014 and 2021, Hamilton won six of his seven world titles with the company.

Hamilton did not win a race in 2022 or 2023 after being controversially disqualified from an eighth driver’s title on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021.

He claimed last year that Mercedes needed the most productive six months in Formula One history in order to catch the top-ranked Red Bull squad.

With George Russell, Hamilton’s teammate, signed a contract that runs through the end of 2025, and team boss Toto Wolff just agreeing to a three-year extension, Mercedes looked to be well-positioned for the future.

For the upcoming season, the identity of Hamilton’s replacement will undoubtedly be a hot topic of conversation.

“We knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come,” Wolff stated. “We accept Lewis’s decision to seek a fresh challenge, and our opportunities for the future are exciting to contemplate.”

Alex Albon, a driver for Williams who had an outstanding 2023 and is close friends with Russell, seems to be a solid contender.

Sainz is seen to have a higher chance of joining Audi’s upcoming Formula One project in 2026, although Mercedes may still consider him as a backup choice in their search for a replacement.

In a statement that was uploaded on X, Sainz stated, Scuderia Ferrari and I will part ways at the end of 2024 in light of today’s news.

We still have a long season ahead of us, but I promise to give it everything I’ve got for the squad and the Tifosi everywhere.

“News about my future will be announced in due course.”

Although Daniel Ricciardo has stated that he wants to succeed Sergio Perez at Red Bull in 2025, he is also expected to be linked to the position. This year, Ricciardo will race for the newly titled Red Bull junior squad Visa Cash App RB.

The development of Mercedes wonderkid junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who will compete in Formula Two this season, will now receive more attention. Though an ascension in 2025 would be viewed as premature, the Italian teenager has been projected as a future star of the sport since he chose Mercedes over Ferrari for his development pact.

Read more at News Intercept:

Seahawks hire Ravens DC Mike Macdonald as head coach

2 thoughts on “Ferrari confirm Lewis Hamilton as driver for 2025 F1 season”

Leave a Comment

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.