Lewis Hamilton says leaving Mercedes F1 the “hardest” decision, wants to “fulfill childhood dream” by driving for Ferrari

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For the first time since the announcement of his stunning move to Scuderia Ferrari next year, Lewis Hamilton has taken to social media to write about his decision to leave Mercedes after an extraordinarily successful time with the team.

Hamilton has won 82 races, six Drivers’ Championships and secured 78 poles since switching from McLaren to the Mercedes works team. The move was questioned at the time but it’s proven to be the most inspired decision in F1 history as the Brit now holds an extraordinary amount of records.

Although a lot of attention in the world of Formula 1 is now focused on 2025, the 39-year-old is desperate to finish his time at Mercedes on a high during the upcoming season, and is vowing to give it everything to make it a success. Hamilton admits the call to leave was the “hardest” he’s ever had to make.

However, in Hamilton’s own words, the opportunity to tick off another childhood goal to drive for the Scuderia was impossible to turn down.

Hamilton’s full statement

“It’s been a crazy few days which have been filled with a whole range of emotions.

“But as you all now know, after an incredible 11 years at Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, the time has come for me to start a new chapter in my life and I will be joining Scuderia Ferrari in 2025.

“I feel incredibly fortunate, after achieving things with Mercedes that I could only have dreamed of as a kid, that I now have the chance to fulfill another childhood dream. Driving in Ferrari red.

“Mercedes has been a huge part of my life since I was 13 years old, so this decision has been the hardest I’ve ever had to make. I’m incredibly proud of all that we’ve achieved together and I’m very grateful for the hard work and dedication of everyone I have worked with over the years and of course Toto, for his friendship, guidance and leadership. Together we have won titles, broken records and become the most successful Driver-Team partnership in F1 history. And of course I cannot forget Niki who was a huge supporter and who I still miss everyday.

“I must also share my huge appreciation to the whole of the Mercedes-Benz board and everyone at the company in Germany and around the world for supporting me over these 26 years.

“But the time is right to make a change and take on a new challenge. I still remember the feeling of taking a leap of faith into the unknown when I first joined Mercedes in 2013. I know some people didn’t understand it at the time but I was right to make the move then and it’s the feeling I have again now. I’m excited to see what I can bring to this new opportunity and what we can do together.

“However, right now, I’m not thinking about 2025. My focus is on the upcoming season and getting back out on track with Mercedes. I am more driven than ever, I am fitter and more focussed than than ever and I want to help Mercedes win once again. I am 100% committed to the job I need to do and determined to end my partnership with the team on a high.

“Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with me, you have all lifted me up as I chase my dreams and I hope I can continue to make you proud. As always, sending you my love and positive energy.”

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