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Lewis Hamilton to leave Mercedes and join Ferrari in 2025 on multi-year contract

Lewis Hamilton to leave Mercedes and join Ferrari in 2025 on multi-year contract
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will make a sensational switch to Ferrari for the 2025 Formula One season on a multi-year contract, the Italian team confirmed on Thursday.

"Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract," the Italian team said in a statement.

Hamilton will join Charles Leclerc, who recently agreed to a contract deal with the Scuderia "beyond 2024," while Carlos Sainz will be replaced at the conclusion of the year.

The news brings an end to what is currently a 17-year-long relationship in F1 with Mercedes-Benz and an 11-year-long partnership with the works team.

The 39-year-old signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes last year but activated a release option that allowed him to leave the organization after only one season.

"The 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 August and this season will therefore be his last driving for the Silver Arrows," Mercedes stated in an official statement.

Hamilton has raced with the Silver Arrows since the 2013 season, winning six of his seven world championships with the team, adding to the title he won at McLaren earlier in his career.

The British driver exercised a release provision in his Mercedes contract, and Ferrari revealed on Thursday evening that the seven-time world champion will join them on a "multi-year" agreement.

Hamilton said leaving Mercedes "was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make."

"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," Hamilton said in an official Mercedes statement.

"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," he added.

Hamilton, who is tied with Ferrari icon Michael Schumacher for seven titles, now has the opportunity to break the Italian team's drought and become F1's most decorated champion in the process.

The Seven-time world champion is considered the most successful driver in F1 history, with seven world championships, 103 race victories, 104 pole positions, 197 podium finishes, and over 4,600 points.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal and CEO, commented, "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," he added.

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