Lewis Hamilton going to Ferrari has been the favourite headline of the F1 rumor mill for some time now. And so it appeared when it resurfaced earlier than the morning of February 1, 2024. F1 presenter Will Buxton’s teasing tweet on X (previously Twitter) acquired followers intrigued. Then the floodgates opened with a number of prime F1 media homes reporting that the seven-time champion is ready to transfer to the Prancing Horse for 2025! Naturally, Formula 1 was going to be in utter chaos witnessing the single biggest driver switch in the sport’s historical past.
How the mega Lewis Hamilton transfer acquired confirmed from Rumor to Reality
After Motorsport.com reported Hamilton’s potential swap from Mercedes to Ferrari, many prime journalists and media homes began speaking about it. F1 social media boards have been buzzing and perplexed as to whether or not it was one other streak of rumors to maintain the winter break chatter going.
Then got here the huge affirmation from F1’s prime broadcasting accomplice – Sky Sports. They confirmed that the Briton will join Ferrari and they’re monitoring the scenario for an official affirmation. Sky Sports presenter Rachel Brookes went down to the Mercedes manufacturing unit in Brackley, the place she reported that that they had referred to as an emergency assembly.
Naturally, this assembly was to inform the Mercedes staff workers about their beloved champion driver transferring to their rivals. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was in Milan and joined the assembly by way of video name to deal with his workers. Brookes reported that the assembly solely lasted 10-14 minutes, confirming that it was about Hamilton’s 2025 swap.
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The solely factor that remained now was listening to it from the horse’s mouth. Neither Mercedes nor Ferrari, and even F1 had not commented something on the unfolding saga. However, media studies got here that each groups will announce the information formally at 7 PM GMT (2 PM EST). And they did so, making followers gasp and dropping the bombshell that can rejig the dynamics of F1 utterly in the subsequent two years.
Mercedes swallowed the bitter tablet as Ferrari performed coy on one of its biggest-ever signings
Mercedes was the first to announce the information of Lewis Hamilton parting methods with them at the finish of 2024. This included official feedback from Toto Wolff and the man of the second, Hamilton himself. The duo had commented on their incredibly successful partnership of 11 years and how grateful they have been for it.
Still, for Wolff and Co, this was the hardest tablet to swallow. F1’s most profitable driver who had been their North Star was leaving them at a time of unprecedented wrestle in their journey. And to rub salt in their wounds, Hamilton’s newest contract extension was solely signed six months in the past, which stored him at Brackley until the finish of 2025.
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Thus, it maybe would have felt like a betrayal that the 39-year-old had dedicated to struggle with them and revive the Silver Arrows to its pre-2022 glory. Nevertheless, Mercedes accepted the seven-time champion’s resolution on the chin. On the different hand, Ferrari didn’t make any main celebratory bulletins.
Uncharacteristic of what has to be one of their biggest-ever driver signings (if not the largest), the Italian outfit solely posted a brief formal statement that informed Hamilton’s switch to Maranello for 2025. While some followers speculated whether or not it was sudden and uneventful for them, it is rather unlikely that Ferrari would finalize such a deal in a rush.
With Lewis Hamilton on board, what occurs to Carlos Sainz?
After the groups and F1 posted statements and graphics on Hamilton’s second-only profession transfer, Carlos Sainz took to the keyboard. In a brief assertion on his social media in English, Spanish, and Italian, the #55 driver communicated his parting with Ferrari.
Sainz is one of the largest shedding events in this mega switch. The Spaniard was in negotiation to prolong his present deal at Maranello past 2024. However, Ferrari boss John Elkann acquired Hamilton on his thoughts, when he acquired to find out about the Mercedes maestro’s availability.
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Now, that the former McLaren driver is a free agent, the place will he go subsequent? There have been robust studies of Sainz going to Audi (at present Sauber), for his or her bold 2026 F1 debut. While the 29-year-old had refuted these hyperlinks, it might grow to be his olive department now after getting the pink slip from Ferrari.
Besides Audi, Aston Martin, and Mercedes are additionally now rumored to be potential locations for Sainz. The two-time race winner could do the straight swap with Hamilton for his Mercedes seat. Although, how will Aston Martin make room for one more Spaniard?
Mercedes have an enormous gap to fill and their choices have a Spanish taste
There are studies that Fernando Alonso could take a look at his outdated arch-rival’s Mercedes seat for 2025. These rumors additionally prompt that Toto Wolff had been in contact with Alonso’s internal circle after Hamilton’s information broke out.
One might imagine at the age of 42, the two-time champion is drained of switching groups. However, the Spaniard loves some driver market motion and if his present staff is just not delivering, Alonso doesn’t hesitate to burn his bridges with them.
So, if Mercedes supply him a profitable cope with a greater aggressive bundle than Aston Martin, the #14 driver can transfer to Brackley. This will create a emptiness at the Silverstone outfit that Carlos Sainz can take up.
Although apart from Alonso and Sainz, the Silver Arrows produce other choices too. One of the prime contenders is Alex Albon. Previously favourite to substitute Sainz at Ferrari, Albon is a sizzling property in the 2024 foolish season. Now, the Thai driver could take a look at Mercedes and hope to accomplice along with his childhood buddy George Russell.
Another left-field possibility is Mercedes’ personal rookie sensation, Andrea Kimi Antonelli. Will Buxton first identified how Antonelli, contingent on an excellent Formula 2 season in 2024 may make a grand F1 debut with the German staff. However, some really feel Mercedes could not need to make such a daring name on the 18-year-old prodigy in 2025.
Still, Antonelli stays a possible candidate to substitute Lewis Hamilton. This will also be stated about Mick Schumacher who’s the staff’s reserve driver. Although from his current struggles at Haas, his case turns into weaker to accomplice Russell.
An unlikely return for Sebastian Vettel?
(*24*)The most outdoors risk additionally concerned Hamilton’s pleasant rival Sebastian Vettel. Having retired in 2022, the German driver was not keen to return to the sport. However, in 2023, he didn’t rule out the risk for the future, as per his want and with the proper alternative.
Mercedes may simply be that chance for the four-time champion, of course on his personal phrases. Vettel changing Hamilton in 2025 could also be the impossible situation. But that’s what everybody considered Hamilton’s transfer to Ferrari, about 36 hours in the past!
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As the nice commentator Murray Walker stated, “Anything can occur in Grand Prix racing, and it normally does”. Given the occasions of the previous 24-36 hours, Hamilton’s seismic transfer to Ferrari may have an enormous domino impact on the F1 driver market. So, as issues stand, it is rather troublesome to predict or rule out any driver transfer.
Nonetheless, Lewis Hamilton has achieved the unfathomable to put F1 in full meltdown. Whether the seven-time champion’s gamble pays off as he hoped for, time will inform. But for now, it’s the finish of an period for him at Mercedes, with the begin of a recent chapter at the Scuderia beckoning in 2025!