Lewis Hamilton's stunning move to Ferrari appears to have been worth $7bn to the Italian team, even before the deal was officially confirmed.
The British driver completed an unexpected switch to the Scuderia on Thursday, upending the Formula 1 grid a year before he'll actually drive for the historic team.
While that new contract means that the seven-time world champion will definitely be with the Brackley-based squad for the upcoming season, Hamilton will move on to pastures new before the start of 2025, displacing Carlos Sainz.
This shock news has led to an upsurge in Ferrari shares, with their market share price rising by over nine percent in just one day, emphasising just how much the Hamilton 'brand' is worth.
However, that number has since gone up, and is more likely to be around the £6 billion mark after a 9pc rise.
While Mercedes' share price has stayed relatively stable during the whirlwind 24 hours of news, there's no doubt that the Brackley-based squad have been taken by surprise by the timing of this news, on the eve of the 2024 season.
The general thoughts had been that Hamilton would stay with the team until at least the end of 2025, and fight for his eighth world title alongside George Russell.
However, news of Hamilton's switch to Ferrari has completely ripped up these plans, and discussions will now be taking place to decide who is the best driver to take the seven-time world champion's vacant seat.
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