Lewis Hamilton Calls Final Mercedes Launch ‘Very Surreal’

Lewis Hamilton has shared his feelings about participating in his 12th and final car launch with Mercedes F1, calling the experience “very surreal” as he prepares for his transition to Ferrari in 2025.

The 2024 season marks Hamilton’s last year with Mercedes, concluding what is considered the most successful driver-team partnership in Formula 1 history.

During his tenure with Mercedes, Hamilton clinched six of his seven world championships, surpassing Michael Schumacher on the list of most wins in the process.

Joining Ferrari in 2025, alongside Charles Leclerc, Hamilton will be realizing a “childhood dream.”

As he looks forward to his final season with Mercedes, Hamilton is determined to finish strong, especially since his last race win was in 2021.

The unveiling of the W15, Mercedes’ competitor for the 2024 F1 season, took place on Wednesday morning.

Hamilton has acknowledged that the weeks leading up to his announcement about joining Ferrari have been filled with “emotional” moments.

“It’s been emotional,” he said. “It’s very surreal to be here given I came here in 2013. 11 years with the team starting my 12th.

“It’s such a privilege to work with a group of people where you see the work they’re doing over the winter, going through this process over the last couple of years. You see a car come together at the beginning of the year.

“It’s the most exciting part of the season. You’re seeing everyone’s launches, this is the first time I have seen the car come together as a whole.

“To know that everything is under the hood which people don’t get to see, but George and I get to experience on the track, it’s exciting.”

The main goal for Hamilton in 2024 is to get Mercedes “back to where we once were”.

“The focus through the whole of winter training is first – getting the team back to where we once were. I think we’ve had this difficult couple of years which has been really grounding for us. It’s helped us re-group.

“We’ve had to re-look at things. It’s now just going through the important process. Being really diligent with our work, understanding the data, understanding the car, maximising from practice, even just the one lap we get in the rain today. It might give George and I a bit of a feeling of what’s to come.”