4 min read

Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari

The story has been brewing all morning, with numerous sources repeating that Lewis Hamilton was leaving Mercedes and joining Ferrari. Many reported with absolute certainty, and yet, for many of us - there remained a level of doubt.

Right up until the official announcement, it didn't feel real.

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Lewis Hamilton to part ways - Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Lewis Hamilton will part ways at the end of the 2024 season. Lewis has activated a release option in the contract so this season will be his last driving for the team
Team statement
Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract.

This is arguably the biggest 'transfer' news in F1 history, and especially since Lewis Hamilton surprised everyone by leaving McLaren for the then-mediocre Mercedes in 2012. They then went on an unprecedented run of success, 6* drivers championships, 8 constructors championships. This made Lewis the most successful driver in the history of the sport.

He joined Mercedes in 2013, a year before new engine regulations that introduced the V6 hybrids that F1 still uses today. The regulations that Mercedes absolutely nailed and formed the basis of their dominance.

Lewis is joining Ferrari in 2025, a year before new engine regulations that could shake the order up yet again.


We've heard on-and-off rumours about Lewis joining Ferrari a few times over the years, but Lewis denied them stringently. He had, in recent times, stated that he expected to finish his career at Mercedes.

Something may have happened to shake his confidence in Mercedes or give him a chunk of confidence in the direction Ferrari are going, particularly for the new regulations. Or maybe he just was given a good enough opportunity to finish his career, regardless of success, at Ferrari - the sport's most historic, successful and romanticised team.

I was initially nervous when I heard the rumours this morning. I believe Lewis is one of the few drivers on the grid that given the right car, can challenge Max's supreme dominance at the moment. The difference between Ferrari and Mercedes right now in terms of overall performance is hard to split, it doesn't necessarily feel like an upgrade or a downgrade.

Nonetheless, I had a bit more confidence that Mercedes would be the ones to challenge Red Bull in the future. I worried that this move would reduce our chances of someone being able to challenge Max in the new couple of years.]

But over the day, my thoughts have changed a little:

  • This is a big and brave move by Lewis. It's hard to question that. He's leaving a team that has provided him the opportunities to become the most successful driver ever.
    • The only two F1 teams he has worked with, McLaren and Mercedes are ostensibly British (Mercedes is obviously a German brand, but the teams building the engine and cars are British). He's moving to an Italian team with a fairly different culture. He doesn't speak Italian and is pairing up with a driver that does.
    • He's joining Charles Leclerc, one of the very best drivers on the grid - and one that Ferrari have invested a lot into as their future. It's hard to claim Lewis is picking an easy opponent, he clearly still has a lot of confidence in himself.
  • Lewis raced and won Formula 3 and GP2 championships for Fred Vasseur's team - and they've remained close. With Vasseur joining Ferrari last season as team principal, this must have played a decent part in luring Lewis over.
    • Fred is making moves!
  • I'm excited by this. The most successful driver ever leaving the team that made that possible to go to Ferrari.
    • If Lewis can find success - it will be an incredible story for him and for F1.
  • It's a shake up - it's unexpected - it also frees up one of the most coveted seats in F1. Who will get it? What knock-on effects will that have?
    • Will Mercedes look to replicate Red Bull and Max Verstappen's success and promote their junior Kimi Antonelli (currently just 17 years old).
    • Will Alex Albon's excellent performance since his Williams return (and great relationship with George Russell) provide him a chance?
    • Fernando Alonso? There were a few rumours swirling this morning about that. Imagine that.
    • Ricciardo? Ocon? Maybe they'll be in with a shot for at least a year whilst they prep younger talent?
    • What about Carlos Sainz? He's been linked with Audi's entry in 2026, maybe it's a straight swap with Mercedes for 2025?

Lewis is still with Mercedes for 2024 and it will be interesting to see how that dynamic goes. There were some tensions between him and George this year - neither is probably as motivated to play the team game anymore.

It's going to be weird seeing Lewis in red.