Hamilton Confirms Mercedes Departure, Eyes Ferrari Future with Leclerc

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Lewis Hamilton, the celebrated seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, will bid farewell to the Mercedes Formula 1 team after the 2024 season, as has officially been confirmed.

The 39-year-old racing icon is expected to make a significant move to Ferrari, joining forces with Charles Leclerc post his stint with Mercedes.

Back in 2013, Hamilton made a surprising transition from McLaren to Mercedes, a move that raised eyebrows at that time.

This switch proved fruitful as Hamilton secured six F1 titles with the Brackley-based team, playing a pivotal role in their ascendancy during the early phase of the turbo-hybrid era.

In 2023, Hamilton signed a two-year renewal with Mercedes, though he has chosen not to exercise the option for the second year.

Over the past two seasons, Mercedes has found it challenging to sustain its leading position, with recent technical rule changes impacting its performance.

Hamilton’s most recent race win was at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, during a period where Red Bull has been leading the field.

While George Russell remains with Mercedes beyond 2024, the team now faces the task of finding another driver to complete its lineup.

In a press release by Mercedes, 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.”