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01st Feb 2024

Lewis Hamilton breaks silence following shock Ferrari switch

Joseph Loftus

Hamilton was confirmed as a Ferrari driver, from 2025, on Thursday

Lewis Hamilton has released his first statement since confirmation of his move to Ferrari was announced.

The bombshell news broke on Thursday that Hamilton would be leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari ahead of the start of the 2025 season. Hamilton has been at Mercedes since 2012 and won six of his seven world titles at the giants.

He had signed a multi-year £100m deal to stay with Mercedes for 2024 and 2025, but it now appears an ‘escape clause’ was inserted into the contract, allowing him to move to Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season. Gazetta Dello Sport in Italy have claimed that the deal could be brought forward.

Reports have claimed that the 39-year-old was convinced by Ferrari that they would be able to offer more competition and give him a better chance of beating Red Bull after struggling in his previous two games. Upon confirming the news, Hamilton said:

“I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together. Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old. It’s a place where I have grown up, so making the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. But the time is right for me to take this step and I’m excited to be taking on a new challenge.

“I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto for his friendship and leadership and I want to finish on a high together. 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.”

Lewis Hamilton

What does this mean for Formula One and Ferrari

The move alone represents one of the biggest shocks in Formula One history.While Hamilton has struggled for form in the last two campaigns, he is still widely regarded as one of the best drivers on the grid and one of the best of all time.

Ferrari being able to secure his services from a close competitor is seen as a major coup for the Italian manufacturers and a bitter blow to Mercedes, who up until the last two seasons, had been the dominant force on the race track.

As for their current drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, it’s widely expected that Sainz will be the one to make way for Hamilton.

Although yet to seriously challenge Hamilton and Max Verstappen, Leclerc is still seen as the long-term future of Ferrari and having someone like Hamilton alongside him may help to spur the Monaco-born 26-year-old on to finally win his first world championship.

Mercedes meanwhile will have a whole year to source a replacement for Hamilton and will most likely turn their full focus onto George Russell who, like Leclerc, also has aspirations of winning a first world title.

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