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Mercedes officially announce Hamilton F1 departure as exit reason confirmed

Mercedes officially announce Hamilton F1 departure as exit reason confirmed

Mercedes officially announce Hamilton F1 departure as exit reason confirmed

Mercedes officially announce Hamilton F1 departure as exit reason confirmed

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season, the team have confirmed.

Mercedes confirmed that a release option in Hamilton's contract has allowed the F1 legend to end his historic six-title stint with the Silver Arrows.

Reports emerged on Thursday morning of a potential rumour that Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur had managed to convince Hamilton to join the Maranello-based team following the conclusion of the upcoming season.

While this seemed unlikely at that stage due to the 39-year-old signing a new contract with Mercedes just five months ago, it became clear that his contract was a '1+1' deal, meaning Hamilton could negotiate with other teams around his post-2024 future.

Sky Sports then revealed that the news had been announced to the Mercedes staff, after a meeting at the team's headquarters in Brackley.

Now, it has been all-but confirmed that Hamilton will team up with Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc at the most successful team in the history of F1 from 2025, leaving Spaniard Carlos Sainz without a seat after 2024.

READ MORE: He must've watched the Ferrari movie!' - social media reacts to Hamilton's HUGE news

Lewis Hamilton has been confirmed as a Ferrari driver for the 2025 season
Lewis Hamilton is known to have a good relationship with Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur

Hamilton's Mercedes snub

Hamilton has made the decision to ditch the team with whom he claimed six of his joint-record seven world championships after suffering two seasons in a car not capable of challenging Red Bull for race wins.

The other man with that number of titles - Michael Schumacher - spent 11 seasons in the red of Ferrari, winning five championships with the Maranello-based team.

Hamilton's hopes of winning an unprecedented eighth title and becoming the most successful driver in the history of the sport will rest on the shoulders of Ferrari from 2025, the last season before sweeping new regulations come into the sport.

In a statement on the Mercedes website, Hamilton said: “I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and 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. I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto for his friendship and leadership and I want to finish on a high together. I am 100% committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember.”

READ MORE: Ferrari F1 supremo masterminded Hamilton swoop after 'years of meetings'

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