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Lewis Hamilton Makes Shock Move to Join Ferrari for 2025 Formula One Season

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

The much anticipated driver transfers for 2025 have already kicked off with a massive shock, ahead of the 2024 Formula One season. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has joined one of the biggest names in Formula One history: Scuderia Ferrari.

The contract signed between the parties has been estimated to be two years long, taking Hamilton into the era of new engine formulae, with an option to extend for another year once his existing contract expires.

Despite being touted of a move in the past, none of the rumours ever came to fruition. The closest it has ever come to reality was with a dinner with Ferrari President John Elkann, or when Hamilton was seen with Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur in the Paddock during a Formula One season.

However, this time, it is an official confirmation of Hamilton signing the dotted line to join one of Formula One's most coveted names.

While Hamilton and Ferrari have always flirted on the lines of forging an alliance, the backrooms had been in talks of a potential alliance, and this signing was only recently teased all over social media. A tweet earlier by Formula One presenter Will Buxton got Formula One fans wondering, before the aforementioned move being reported as a 'done deal' all over social media.

Ferrari have long wanted to sign the man from Stevenage onto their roster. However, the Briton has always preferred the abode of the Silver Arrows, given he always felt the team had a better shot at success, and this has won him six world championships, apart from his sophomore season championship win for McLaren in 2008 — albeit in a car powered by a Mercedes engine.

Despite the long list of accolades and success he has achieved for Mercedes, both parties have had challenging seasons ever since the ground effect rules came into effect. Having attempted an ambitious 'No-pods' concept in 2022, the team from Brackley never matched the performances of their major rivals Red Bull and Ferrari early in the season, playing catch-up to the duo, and eventually rounding out the season with a one-two at Brazil, their last race victory till date.

Mercedes experienced yet more struggles in 2023, and were forced to abandon their bold concepts early in the season, eventually going back to a traditional concept on their car for the rest of the year.

Despite the change, their car proved to be sluggish in a straight line compared to their rivals, and a major set-up flaw at Brazil exposed the tyre wear problems on their car, leading to one of their lowest moments in 2023.

Their struggles too translated into two winless seasons for their stalwart Briton, who has gone two seasons without a race victory in his career, with 2022 being the first year he failed to stand atop a Formula One podium.

Despite changing their car concept, and securing second in 2023, the fundamental concept still has flaws, and Hamilton, possibly aware of the impending struggles for 2024 and 2025, has seen Ferrari as a more viable option, given the progress the Scuderia made between seasons, and a familiar face at the helm of the team.

This familiar face was in the form of Fred Vasseur, the same figure at the helm of the ART outfit Hamilton raced for, way back in 2006, in his GP2 days. Having taken championship glory back then for the team, the Swiss veteran holds a special place in Hamilton's heart, and the Briton himself believes Vasseur has what it takes to bring success to the Scuderia, whose dry run without silverware has extended to 15 years.

Hamilton had recently signed a two-year contract with the silver arrows into 2024 and 2025, earlier this year. However, it appears this wasn't a full two-year option, rather more of a 1 + 1 option, with an escape clause for the 2025 season. The seven-time champion had the option to call it a day, or to depart from the team ahead of 2025, should he feel the need to do so. Explicably, he has opted to leave Mercedes for the red overalls.

It also makes sense from a strategic point of view, given Hamilton's days are numbered in Formula One, and he wants to fulfill his dream of winning the elusive eighth championship, and what better opportunity to do it with the only team to have witnessed a seven-time champion pilot at the wheel of their glorious machine.

Winning an eighth title would definitely be on Hamilton's agenda at Ferrari in 2025, and it would be a symbolic achievement for both the Briton as well as the Scuderia, who have already witnessed Michael Schumacher break the all-time record for most world championships, way back in 2003, when the German won his sixth world championship, eclipsing Juan Manuel Fangio's long-standing record.

While Schumacher's achievements are much loved by the team from Maranello, and his fandom runs deep in the veins of the passionate fanbase of the team, the Tifosi, Hamilton going one better would definitely put him in Formula One immortality, and a very special place in the hearts of the fans, indeed.

An announcement of such magnitude would also assist Fred Vasseur no end in his recruitment drive for the Scuderia, with plenty looking to join the technical team at the Scuderia, knowing the personality in question, and the potential and track record he possesses in the sport.

Hamilton joins the Ferrari talisman that is Charles Leclerc, the Monegasque highly motivated to bring back world championship glory to the Rosso Corsa, having recently penned a fresh deal taking him well into the future of the Scuderia. A great qualifier, Leclerc will look up to Ferrari to give him machinery capable of translating his qualifying pace into race wins, and firm a world championship challenge in 2024.

He too would be bolstered by the joining of a veteran racer in the sport, and Hamilton could even act as a mentor for Leclerc at Ferrari, putting his years of championship-contending experience to help Leclerc in this situation in the future, as well as helping Ferrari themselves contend for the constructors championship too.

While the announcement bodes well for Hamilton's future, Carlos Sainz would become hot property in the driver market, with teams chasing the Spaniard for a future deal. According to sources, he could be set to join the Stake Formula One Team for 2025, who will soon transition into Audi in 2026, effectively carving out the same career path his dad Carlos Sainz Sr took in rallying.

Given the Spaniard's insistence to go into a fresh season with his future confirmed, the two-time race winner will then look to his options, and be able to sign a contract before the season commences. He is the fulcrum of the driver market for 2025, given his stock has risen by many fold ever since he joined the Scuderia.

With a massive driver transfer this late into the winter break, and much more to follow, you do not want to take your eyes off social media for the next few days, with plenty of driver market news expected in a short span of time.


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