ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 23: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Toto Wolff of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team looks on during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 23, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
(Photo by James Gasperotti/Ciancaphoto Studio/Getty Images)

How Lewis Hamilton Shocked Mercedes with Ferrari Move

For racing fans, this week has been very shocking, especially to Formula One fans. In just the span of two days, F1 denied Andretti Global entry into the sport, which was big news until word began leaking out that Lewis Hamilton would be leaving Mercedes to drive for Ferrari beginning in 2025.

When that came out the whole world was shocked, and now that the news has been confirmed, there are plenty of shockwaves continuing to be felt across the sport.

According to Racer.com Hamilton has signed with Ferrari starting in 2025 and the contract is a multi-year deal.

Hamilton had previously signed a two-year extension in the summer of 2023 but will depart Mercedes at the end of this season, with the team stating he "activated a release option in the contract that was announced last August, and this season will be his last driving for the Silver Arrows."

The move will end an 11-year partnership that saw Hamilton win six driver's championships along with becoming the leader in career victories in Formula One history.

The move to Ferrari is a complete surprise, but that wasn't the most amazing part of his news.

How he let the Mercedes team president Toto Wolff know that he was leaving was the real bombshell.

Wolff and Hamilton gathered for their annual post-season get-together at Wolff's home in Oxford.

It was expected they would chat about their goals for the upcoming 2024 season, but according to Motorsport.com's Jonathan Noble, Hamilton had other ideas, as he dropped the stunning news that he had activated his release clause, allowing him to sign with Ferrari for the 2025 season.

During that meeting, Hamilton's long-time friend and confidante, Marc Hynes, arrived at Mercedes' Brackley factory to deliver the formal letter notifying the team that Hamilton would be departing after the 2024 season.

With his departure now official, Wolff and Mercedes can start getting to work on their plans for the future with the team's second driver opposite George Russell.

Hamilton wanted to get this out of the way so the whole season wouldn't have been filled with a media frenzy questioning his future.

It certainly doesn't appear that the decision came easy for Hamilton, but he did say that he felt like it was the right time to make the move.

"I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I'm so proud of what we have achieved together ... making the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make," Hamilton said. "But the time is right for me to take this step and I'm excited to be taking on a new challenge."

That new challenge will be daunting, indeed, as Hamilton hopes that with new teammate Charles Leclerc, the two drivers can pull Ferrari back to the top of the F1 ladder and surpass Red Bull Racing with Max Verstappen, as well as Hamilton's soon-to-be former team Mercedes.

More: F1 Snubs Andretti Bid to Join Sport