Formule 1

Lewis Hamilton reportedly leaving Mercedes for Ferrari in F1 surprise

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: The Washington Post
February 1, 2024 at 10:07
Lewis Hamilton's move from Mercedes to Ferrari would shake up the sport. (Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post)
Lewis Hamilton's move from Mercedes to Ferrari would shake up the sport. (Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post)

Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of completing a sensational switch to a new team in search of another title.

Lewis Hamilton, the most successful driver in Formula One history, is leaving Mercedes and joining Ferrari, the most successful team in F1 history, according to multiple reports.

An announcement is expected Thursday, after reports began circulating in Italian and Spanish media, followed by reports by the BBCSky Sports and ESPN.

Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, will race along with Charles Leclerc, who signed a new long-term contract last week, starting with the 2025 season. The move leaves Carlos Sainz, Ferrari’s two-time race winner, without a car. It would also create an opening for a seat with Mercedes alongside George Russell.

Last summer, the 39-year-old Hamilton signed a two-year contract with Mercedes, but an exit clause opened the door for the jump to Ferrari and shakes up the sport, as did Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 season.

“Anyone on the grid would be lucky to have Lewis as a teammate,” Leclerc said in June when rumors about a jump to Ferrari began swirling. And Ferrari admitted speaking with Hamilton, the world champion at the time, about joining the team in 2019.

Since a controversial ending in which Hamilton lost to Max Verstappen in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull has dominated F1.

When the 2023 season ended, Hamilton seemed uncertain that Mercedes could challenge Red Bull.

“I do believe we have a North Star now,” he told reporters after the 2023 season finale in Abu Dhabi, “which I don’t think we’ve had for two years. But still getting there is not a straight line. I think we understand the car so much better. They have developed great tools in the background. So naturally, I’m hopeful, but I’m not going to hold my breath.”

Ferrari, which has had a difficult two seasons as well, and Mercedes battled for second place in the constructors’ championship last year, with Mercedes narrowly winning.

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