Lewis Hamilton, a Formula One driver, will join Ferrari before the 2025 season and leave Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One winner, will join Ferrari in 2025 after leaving Mercedes, the teams confirmed on Thursday. Hamilton was under contract with the club until the end of 2025; Mercedes confirmed in a statement on X, the former Twitter, that he “has activated a release option in the contract announced last year.” The British driver will be joining the squad on a “multi-year contract,” according to a statement made by Ferrari. “I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together,” Hamilton said in a statement posted on the Mercedes website. Since I was thirteen years old, Mercedes has been a part of my life. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make to leave, as it is a place where I have grown up. “But I’m eager to take on a new challenge and I think the time is right for me to take this step.”

The 39-year-old, who began his career with McLaren in 2007 and now shares the record for the most Formula One world titles with Michael Schumacher, joined Mercedes in 2013. The British driver went on to have a brilliant time, winning six titles in a span of seven years. Mercedes has had difficulty sustaining its leadership in recent years, but Hamilton—who placed third in the driver standings the previous year—signed a contract extension in August that will keep him with the team through the end of the 2025 campaign. But in a shocking move that was first revealed on Thursday by Spanish and Sky Sports media, Hamilton will now be playing for one of the biggest rivals of the Silver Arrows.

Toto Wolff, the principal of the Mercedes team, stated, “We knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come.” “We respect Lewis’s choice to look for a new challenge, and it’s exciting to think about the opportunities we have ahead of us.” In the constructor standings from the previous season, Mercedes came in second, three points ahead of Ferrari in third, but both teams trailed a much stronger Red Bull squad. In 2025, Hamilton will replace Carlos Sainz at Ferrari by working with Charles Leclerc. The Spanish driver announced in a post on X that he will depart the team at the end of 2024 and will disclose his next move “in due course.”

Phil Duncan, a CNN contributor and Press Association F1 correspondent, stated to CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies on Thursday that Lewis Hamilton has gone two years without winning a grand prix, which is practically unique for him and something he has never had to cope with in his career. “At 39 years old, he’s undoubtedly thinking that this is his final big opportunity, his final great step, and his final opportunity to drive for Ferrari—a team that has always attracted him. This is arguably the largest transfer in Formula One history, and it has revitalized the competition.

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