Lewis Hamilton insists fulfilling a “childhood dream” motivated him to affix Ferrari after a sensational transfer away from Mercedes was confirmed this week.
The Formula 1 was left shocked after Ferrari clinched the signature of the seven-time world champion for the 2025 season and past.
Ahead of the conclusion of a historic spell with Mercedes, which began in 2013, Hamilton has elaborated on the explanations behind his resolution, simply months after signing a brand new two-year take care of the Silver Arrows.
Hamilton stated: “It’s been a crazy few days which have been filled with a whole range of emotions. But as you all now know, 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.
“Mercedes has been a huge part of my life since I was 13 years old, so this decision has been the hardest I’ve ever had to make. I’m incredibly proud of all that we’ve achieved together and I’m very grateful for the hard work and dedication of everyone I have worked with over the years and of course Toto, for his friendship, guidance and leadership. Together we have won titles, broken records and become the most successful Driver-Team partnership in F1 history. And of course I cannot forget Niki who was a huge supporter and who I still miss everyday.
“I must also share my huge appreciation to the whole of the Mercedes-Benz board and everyone at the company in Germany and around the world for supporting me over these 26 years. But the time is right to make a change and take on a new challenge. 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. I’m excited to see what I can bring to this new opportunity and what we can do together.
“However, right now, I’m not thinking about 2025. My focus is on the upcoming season and getting back out on track with Mercedes. I am more driven than ever, I am fitter and more focussed than than ever and I want to help Mercedes win once again. I am 100% committed to the job I need to do and determined to end my partnership with the team on a high. Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with me, you have all lifted me up as I chase my dreams and I hope I can continue to make you proud. As always, sending you my love and positive energy.”
Hamilton, who has signed a “multi-year contract”, will race alongside Charles Leclerc and substitute Carlos Sainz at Ferrari subsequent yr, with the Spaniard out of contract on the iconic Italian group on the finish of 2024 and now in search of a brand new group.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and technical director James Allison knowledgeable Mercedes personnel of Hamilton’s departure on Thursday afternoon. The Silver Arrows confirmed the information in a press release on Thursday night.
It leaves the Silver Arrows in search of a driver to associate George Russell in 2025, whereas focusing on success with Hamilton in what might be his last season with the group in 2024.
It represents a wild flip of occasions, lower than a month till the beginning of the brand new season. Hamilton, who might be 40 by the point he wears the well-known scarlet purple, has beforehand been unabating in his dedication to Mercedes.
It is believed that Ferrari president John Elkann has been integral in talks persuading Hamilton to swap Brackley for Maranello subsequent yr.
Hamilton, the joint-most profitable driver within the sport’s historical past, has received six of his seven world championships at Mercedes after becoming a member of from McLaren in 2013, in what was then a shocking transfer.
Wolff added: “In terms of a team-driver pairing, our relationship with Lewis has become the most successful the sport has seen, and that’s something we can look back on with pride; Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history.
“However, we knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come. We accept Lewis’s decision to seek a fresh challenge, and our opportunities for the future are exciting to contemplate.
“But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on going racing to deliver a strong 2024.”
The 2024 season begins in 4 weeks on the Bahrain Grand Prix.