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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

CONFIRMED: Lewis Hamilton to leave Mercedes after ‘amazing 11 years’ to join Ferrari

Hamilton won the last of his world titles in 2020 but lost the 2021 championship in controversial fashion to Max Verstappen.

Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will be leaving Mercedes at the end of the upcoming 2024 season after 11 years to join the Scuderia Ferrari team.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team made the announcement just before 9pm on Thursday.

“Mercedes-AMG Pestronas F1 Team and Lewis Hamilton will part ways at the end of the 2024 season. Lewis has activated a release option in the contract announced last year,” Mercedes said.

Amazing time with Mercedes  

Hamilton said he had an “amazing 11 years” with Mercedes.

“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,” Hamilton said.

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It is understood, Hamilton will be joining Ferrari for the 2025 season.

Ferrari subsequently confirmed the arrival of the 39-year-old Hamilton, who is due to partner their current driver Charles Leclerc, according to AFP.

“Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract,” the Italian team said.

The BBC reported that Mercedes team staff were called to a meeting with boss Toto Wolff at their UK headquarters on Thursday to be told Hamilton will leave at the end of the 2024 season and head to one of Formula One’s most storied names.

F1 World Championship

Hamilton won the last of his world titles in 2020 but lost the 2021 championship in controversial fashion to Max Verstappen when the race director ignored the safety car rules in Abu Dhabi, effectively blocking the Briton’s route to victory in both that grand prix and the championship.

He has never hidden his anger at the 2021 incident in Abu Dhabi, believing he was robbed of an eighth title that would have put him ahead of Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher.

The Dutch Red Bull driver, who is 13 years younger than Hamilton, has dominated the F1 scene ever since.

Hamilton finished sixth in the drivers’ standings in 2022 and third in 2023.

ALSO READ: Verstappen smashes more records with 19th season win in Abu Dhabi

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