It was a completely unexpected piece of news, that Lewis Hamilton signs with Ferrari F1 from the 2025 season. There were rumours around that there’d be a seismic shift in the driver market, but no one saw this coming. The news went out via the Mercedes-AMG F1 website first.

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The Scuderia website followed shortly after with the simple: “Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract.”

In Their Own Words

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & 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.”

Lewis Hamilton added: “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.”

Record Breaking

Hamilton is the most successful driver in the history of F1. The Brit has scored seven titles and 103 victories since starting with McLaren in 2007. He has, to date, recorded 104 pole positions along with countless other records in the sport.

His seven world titles were won with two teams, McLaren and Mercedes-AMG F1. Hamilton is the last driver since Michael Schumacher to achieve this accolade. All other recent champions have won with a single team. 

Fernando Alonso won twice with Renault, Kimi Raikkonen won once with Ferrari, Jenson Button a single title with Brawn GP, Sebastian Vettel won four on the trot with Red Bull, Nico Rosberg won once with Mercedes and Max Verstappen has only won with Red Bull. 

A Lull

Mercedes had enjoyed a period of dominance in the sport, winning eight titles in a row. A technical rule change reset the playing field and Red Bull has been in the ascendancy for a few years. Hamilton hasn’t won a race since 2021 as the Silver Arrows have just not been competitive enough to challenge for race wins. Despite that, he signed for two seasons starting in 2024, which makes this news quite odd. 

A Legacy

It is often said that every F1 driver wants to race for Ferrari at some point in their careers. Many do, but few have won titles. Just three pilots have won between 1979 and 2023: South African Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen.

As Lewis enters the twilight of his career, he’ll be 40 in 2025, the opportunity to drive for other front-running teams is fading. He’ll be hoping the Scuderia can provide him with a competitive car to, at the very least, challenge for wins. 

Should he manage to win a title with Ferrari he’ll be in rarefied company. Only Juan Manuel Fangio has won with more teams (Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Maserati and Ferrari). And he will join one of his mentors, Niki Lauda, as the only other driver to have won titles with McLaren and Ferrari, two of the most successful teams in the sport.