Lewis Hamilton will do Christmas drive around childhood home

Lewis Hamilton confirms shock move to Ferrari F1 for 2025 season

Seven-times champion is looking to do what Senna never did

Lewis Hamilton has confirmed he will be making a sensational switch to drive for Ferrari for the 2025 Formula 1 season.

While the British seven-times world champion has previously stated he’s happy to see out his career at Mercedes, the lure of driving for one of the most famous names in the sport has proven too tempting to resist.

Hamilton signed what was thought to be a new two-year deal with his current team last year, tying him to Mercedes for both the 2024 and 2025 campaigns.

However, it emerged that it was a one-year deal with an option for a further year’s extension, paving the way for him to join the Scuderia next year.

Writing on Instagram, Hamilton said: “After an incredible 11 years at Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, the time has come for me to start a new chapter in my life and I will be joining Scuderia Ferrari in 2025.

“I feel incredibly fortunate, after achieving things with Mercedes that I could only have dreamed of as a kid, that I now have the chance to fulfil another childhood dream. Driving in Ferrari red.”

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Recalling his equalling eyebrow-raising move from McLaren to Mercedes, he added: “I still remember the feeling of taking a leap of faith into the unknown when I first joined Mercedes in 2013. I know some people didn’t understand it at the time but I was right to make the move then and it’s the feeling I have again now.”

Hamilton and Leclerc — a driver dream team

Hamilton said that he’s not thinking about 2025 right now, but instead focusing on the upcoming season and is determined to end hi partnership with the Mercedes team on a high. However, the Ferrari and Mercedes teams will need to get started on important preparations and decisions to make.

Ferrari is not looking to replace its present lead driver, Charles Leclerc, who recently signed a new multi-year deal with the team. As a result, Hamilton will be paired with the Monegasque pilot, meaning Ferrari’s current number two — Carlos Sainz — is looking for a drive elsewhere after the 2025 F1 season.

Meanwhile, Mercedes will be scouting for a replacement for the star pilot who racked up six drivers’ titles with them, and helped them to eight consecutive constructors’ championships. Team principal Toto Wolff has said that he’s keeping all driver options open and doesn’t know whether the new signing, to race alongside George Russell, will be an experienced race winner or a new young gun.

Hamilton’s motivation

Hamilton said driving for Ferrari is a childhood dream, however the reasons for Hamilton’s highly surprising defection are thought to be complex.

It is believed that the Brit is still aggrieved about the controversial end to the 2021 season, where what would have been his record-breaking eighth drivers’ title in the sport was ripped away from him in the final few laps due to human errors made by then-race-director Michael Masi.

The title instead went to Dutch driver Max Verstappen, who has gone on to utterly dominate F1 since in his Red Bull. Hamilton, by contrast, has had two seasons of struggle in uncompetitive Mercedes cars, and has not even won a race since the Saudi Arabian GP of December 2021.

He’s done this before

The last time Hamilton shocked the world with a team switch, it turned out to be prescient. No one thought his move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013 was a good one, yet the German company then delivered a storming car in 2014 which allowed Hamilton to dominate F1 — tallying six further drivers’ titles through to 2020, to go with his inaugural championship win in 2008 in a McLaren.

2021 British GP Lewis Hamilton wins

Although Hamilton has publicly expressed frustration with the design direction Mercedes took in the past two years, resulting in a drought of good results, he has recently indicated that he thinks the 2024 car should give him a greater chance of challenging Verstappen’s authority.

Nevertheless, the lure of driving for Ferrari remains strong as Hamilton heads into the later years of his F1 career.

The Italian company is perfectly capable of delivering a race-winning, and potentially championship-winning, car itself. It is the longest-serving and most successful racing team in F1 history, having competed in the sport continuously since 1950.

The Senna link

There’s also a poignant reason for Hamilton to make the defection from Mercedes to Ferrari.

His childhood hero was the late, great Ayrton Senna. It was widely believed that the Brazilian three-times world champion was himself planning to move to Ferrari to end his illustrious career, but he was tragically killed at the 1994 Imola GP while driving for Williams.

Ayrton Senna

Hamilton, 39, would therefore most likely love to emulate Senna’s wishes and make the move to the Italian outfit himself.

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