Ferrari have completed one of the biggest driver moves in motorsport history by signing Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes.
The seven-time champion will join the Italian giants in 2025 after completing his 12th season with Mercedes this season.
Mercedes confirmed Hamilton’s departure in a statement which read: “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 announced last year.”
Commenting on the departure, 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 per cent committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows one to remember.”
Late last year Hamilton signed a two-year extension with the Silver Arrows, but Ferrari were able to pounce on a break clause.
The deal unites F1’s most successful driver, seven-time champion and 103-time race winner Hamilton, with it’s most successful team, 16-time constructors champion Ferrari.
The 39-year-old will be paired with long-time Ferrari star Charles Leclerc, who recently signed a new contract, while Carlos Sainz will make way for the Brit.
Hamilton has long discussed his admiration of Ferrari, admitting he supported the motorsport behemoths as a child, but said he was disappointed that ‘it never worked out’ between the two parties.
That was mainly due to his success with both McLaren and Mercedes, but now things have changed.
The Stevenage-born star won a race in each of his first 15 seasons in F1, but hasn’t been on the top step of the podium since 2021.
Much of that is down to Mercedes fumbling the 2022 aerodynamic rule changes, with Hamilton publicly complaining about their development path on multiple occasions.
A new set of power unit regulations will come into force in 2026, which could well shake up the grid once more, and allow Hamilton to claim a record-breaking eighth title, and Ferrari’s first since 2007.