LONDON – Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will leave his current team, Mercedes next year and switch to rival Ferrari, according to several media reports yesterday.
The 39-year-old British race car driver with Grenadian heritage has been driving for Mercedes for the past 11 years, but his current contract is set to expire at the end of the coming season, and reports indicate he will replace Carlos Sainz of Spain at Ferrari.
Neither Mercedes nor Ferrari have commented on the move, but Sky Sports TV reported that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was going to make a formal announcement to Mercedes employees in Brackley yesterday afternoon (British Time).
Hamilton will join Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, with the Italian team announcing a week ago that the Monegasque driver had signed a contract extension.
The most successful F1 driver of all time, with a record 103 wins and 104 pole positions in a career that started 17 years ago, Hamilton has not won a race since December 2021 as Mercedes struggled to match Red Bull Racing and Dutch driver Max Verstappen.
Verstappen, 26, has won the last three world titles, and he has been installed as the raging hot favourite to claim a fourth crown for the coming season.
Hamilton was linked to Ferrari in the past because he remained close to Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur after winning Formula 3 and GP2 (now Formula 2) championships as a junior in 2005 and 2006 with the ART racing team managed by the Frenchman. (CMC)