Lewis Hamilton is set to join Ferrari to bring a decade with Mercedes to a close, in a move that has shocked the Formula 1 workd.
The sensational move, thought to be for the 2025 season, will bring to an end a partnership which has helped the British driver win six drivers' titles and break most of the sport's individual records.
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While the news sent shockwaves across the F1 world, one question is loud and clear: why?
Mercedes' winless 2023 season, coupled with Hamilton's winless 2022 and 2023 campaigns, paints a stark picture. The once dominant Silver Arrows have fallen behind, leaving Hamilton yearning for championships, let alone victories.
Perhaps the seven-time champion has sensed a fading hope of returning to the pinnacle with his current team. The prospect of spearheading a resurgent Ferrari alongside the talented Leclerc might just be the adrenaline shot his career needs.
But before we delve into the future, let's rewind to the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
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2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit witnessed the last time Hamilton stood atop the podium.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a spectacle unlike any other, a whirlwind of action punctuated by red flags, safety cars, and nail-biting wheel-to-wheel battles.
Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious from the circuit's demanding layout, but the path to victory was paved with controversy and drama.
His duel with championship rival Max Verstappen was a constant ebb and flow. Lead changes were frequent, and a controversial collision between the two title contenders left minor damage to Hamilton's front wing.
Yet the seven-time world champion eventually notched the win after managing to build a comfortable gap over Verstappen by nearly 12 seconds.
This stunning victory under immense pressure kept the championship battle alive, setting the stage for the now-infamous showdown in Abu Dhabi, where Verstappen clinched his first world championship in controversial circumstances.
Hamilton's quest for glory in red
Now, as he prepares to embark on a new chapter, can Hamilton, at the twilight of his career, reignite his championship fire with a team hungry for its first title since 2008?
The Italian giants boast a rich history and passionate fanbase, but recent years have been plagued by inconsistency. Adapting to a new car, new engineers, and a different team dynamic will be no small feat, even for a driver of Hamilton's calibre.
The internal politics, intense pressure, and competition from other top teams will also pose significant challenges.
Yet, the potential rewards are tantalising. Partnering with Charles Leclerc could create a dream pairing, pushing both drivers to even greater heights.
If Ferrari can provide a competitive car, Hamilton's experience and strategic brilliance could be the missing piece in their championship puzzle!
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