Lewis Hamilton may spend just one more season with Mercedes.
According to multiple reports including the BBC and ESPN, the seven-time Formula 1 world champion could shock the auto racing world with a move to Ferrari for the 2025 season. Hamilton recently signed what was reported to be two-year contract extension with Mercedes that kicked in after the 2023 season and Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz’s contract runs through the 2024 season.
Hamilton, 39, is Formula 1’s biggest star. He has the most wins of anyone in F1 history and is tied with Michael Schumacher for the most championships. He was on the verge of breaking that tie with Schumacher at the end of the 2021 season before breaks in F1 protocol during a late caution flag gave Max Verstappen the chance to pass Hamilton with fresher tires on the final lap of the final race of the season to win the title.
Verstappen has been the dominant driver in Formula 1 since he got past Hamilton in Abu Dhabi over two years ago. He easily won the 2022 and 2023 titles and his 2023 season was the most dominant in Formula 1 history as he won 19 of 22 races and had just one finish outside the top three.
Hamilton has been publicly committed to getting Mercedes back ahead of Red Bull since Verstappen’s emergence. Hamilton moved to Mercedes from McLaren ahead of the 2013 season and immediately became a massive F1 legend.
After winning a title and 17 races in six years at McLaren, Hamilton made a similar stunning move to Mercedes after the 2012 season. Hamilton then won six championships in seven seasons from 2014-20 as Mercedes became Formula 1’s powerhouse team.
Mercedes won the constructor’s title in 2021 as Verstappen clipped Hamilton for the driver title, but the team has been playing catch-up to Red Bull since new rules were implemented across F1 before the 2022 season. It’s very easy to see how a move to Ferrari is a sign that Hamilton doesn’t have the confidence in Mercedes to catch Red Bull in the near future.
Ferrari, meanwhile, finished behind Mercedes in the constructor’s standings in 2023. While Ferrari had more pace than Mercedes at times — and Sainz got the only win that Red Bull drivers didn’t a season ago — blunders and reliability issues meant Ferrari finished third.
If and when he signs for Ferrari, Hamilton will team with Charles Leclerc for the 2025 season and Sainz will immediately become the most coveted free agent on the market. Mercedes will also need to replace Hamilton and could look to Sainz or someone else to team with George Russell.