Lewis Hamilton speaks on Mercedes exit: F1 star ready to ‘start a new chapter’ with Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton spoke on his switch to Ferrari days after his shocking Mercedes exit.

The Formula 1 star will be making the move from Mercedes to Ferrari in 2025, as revealed on Feb. 1. Hamilton started driving with Mercedes in 2013 and won six of his seven total world titles with the German brand. 

The 39-year-old British driver repeatedly shut down offers from Italian teams in the past, instead choosing to stick with the company that had been part of his life since age 13. (As a teenager, he joined McLaren, which used Mercedes engines.)

In his first social media post since his exit, though, Hamilton revealed that “the time is right” for him to take a leap of faith and make the move.

MORE: Why is Lewis Hamilton going to Ferrari? Contract details and more to know

In his message, the F1 driver said the move away from Mercedes is one of his toughest decisions, right up there with his move from McLaren to Mercedes.

“But the time is right to make a change and take on a new challenge,” he wrote. “I still remember the feeling of taking a leap of faith into the unknown when I first joined Mercedes in 2013. I know some people didn’t understand it at the time but I was right to make the move then and it’s the feeling I have again now.”

Hamilton, who essentially will replace Carlos Sainz, will join Charles LeClerc at Ferrari next year. A release clause in his contract with Mercedes allows him to join his new team in 2025, but he’ll compete for his German-based team for one more season before making the switch.

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Why the Italian team wanted Hamilton is no secret. Just look at his success. Ferrari is the oldest and most successful racing brand, yet has gotten off track in recent years. The team hasn’t won a world title since 2007. Seven-time world F1 champion Hamilton could bring prestige back to where it all started.

Ferrari signed the star driver to a multi-year contract under which he’ll earn approximately $100 million per year, including salary, sponsorships and more. It will make him one of the highest-paid drivers in brand history, according to Formu1a’s Paolo D’Alessandro & Giuliano Duchessa.

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