In a shocking turn of events, Formula 1’s most decorated driver, Lewis Hamilton, has confirmed his sensational move to Scuderia Ferrari for the 2025 season. The seven-time world champion, with a record 103 wins under his belt, will don the iconic red suit and replace Carlos Sainz as Charles Leclerc’s teammate.
The announcement came on Thursday, leaving the F1 world stunned and even catching Mercedes off guard. Hamilton, who had signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes just last year, exercised a release option, making this decision one of the hardest of his illustrious career.
“The time is right for me to take this step, and I’m excited to be taking on a new challenge,” Hamilton stated. “I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family.”
Ferrari, the sport’s most successful team, hasn’t clinched a drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen’s triumph in 2007. Now, Hamilton, tied with Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher with seven titles, has the opportunity to end the Italian team’s drought and become F1’s most decorated champion.
If Hamilton accomplishes this feat, he would make history as the first driver to secure championships with three different teams since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957. The move, long rumored throughout Hamilton’s career, reflects Ferrari Chairman John Elkann’s desire to add a big-name driver alongside Charles Leclerc, who recently extended his contract until at least 2026.
Leclerc, known for his qualifying prowess, has faced questions about his ability to secure a championship, raising the stakes for Hamilton’s arrival. Despite laughing off rumors before the Monaco Grand Prix last year, sources reveal that negotiations with Hamilton intensified toward the end of 2023 and into January.
Ferrari Team Boss Fred Vasseur, who worked with Hamilton during his GP2 title-winning campaign in 2006, played a crucial role in sealing the deal. Until the bombshell announcement, Hamilton seemed content to end his career with Mercedes, where he won six of his seven world titles during a dominant period from 2014 to 2021.
After a controversial finish at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he was denied an eighth drivers’ title, Hamilton experienced a winless streak in 2022 and 2023. With the core of the Mercedes team intact, including Team Boss Toto Wolff and teammate George Russell, Hamilton’s departure raises questions about his replacement.
Williams driver Alex Albon, a friend of Russell, emerges as a strong candidate. Carlos Sainz, departing Ferrari at the end of 2024, is considered likely to join Audi’s F1 project in 2026, though a return to Mercedes could be a surprising move. Daniel Ricciardo, linked to the Ferrari seat, eyes a 2025 Red Bull switch.
The departure of Hamilton also puts the spotlight on Mercedes’ junior driver, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, competing in Formula Two this season. The Italian teenager, chosen by Mercedes over Ferrari, has been hailed as a future star, but an early elevation in 2025 might be deemed premature.
As the F1 community processes this seismic shift, Hamilton’s move to Ferrari promises to reshape the landscape of the sport. The 2025 season is already poised to be one for the history books, with the anticipation building for the unveiling of Mercedes’ new driver and the unfolding drama at Ferrari with the arrival of the legendary Lewis Hamilton.