Lewis Hamilton will be joining Ferrari at the conclusion of the 2024 F1 season, marking the end of the seven-time champion’s tenure with Mercedes.

Hamilton signed a two year contract with Mercedes back in August, keeping him with the team through 2025. However, through an exit clause, it opened a door for Hamilton to pursue a contract with Ferrari.

Hamilton, who has been with the team since 2013, has won six of his seven titles there. In many ways the face of Mercedes, Hamilton’s incoming departure raises many questions for the future of the team.

It has been no secret that Hamilton has explored other options. Hamilton had conversations with both Ferrari and Red Bull last season, during his contract year with Mercedes. However, the announcement of a two year extension with Mercedes seemingly ended any conversation of a departure.

But now, it’s all been turned on its head.

After the announcement, Hamilton called the decision to leave Mercedes, “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 also expressed that driving for Ferrari was a childhood dream of his, and as the 39-year-old’s career enters its final stages, this could have been one of the last opportunities for Hamilton to secure this opportunity.

There could be another layer to this, however.

Mercedes has been unable to rediscover their championship pace since the start of the 2022 season. Hamilton has expressed some frustration with the direction of development with Mercedes’ car, however it is unclear if this played into his decision to join Ferrari.

Ferrari, after all, has not had much success either. Ever since a red-hot start to the 2022 season, Ferrari has stumbled behind both Red Bull and Mercedes in the standings. Any decision Hamilton made relating to performance would have been based on future potential.

Or perhaps Hamilton really did just want to drive for his favorite F1 team growing up before retiring.

Regardless of any speculation, the truth is that 2024 will be the last hurrah for Hamilton and Mercedes.

The end of the most dominant era in F1 history is imminent.


Tagline: “The Cooldown Lap,” written by Jon Wenger, takes you through the world of motorsports each week. Wenger discusses the recent events in various racing divisions.