A significant move could be on the horizon in Formula 1, as negotiations between Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari are reportedly in advanced stages, with a potential conclusion by the end of this week, according to Motorsport.com. Although it remains unclear if a final contract has been signed, the talks suggest a substantial shift in Hamilton's career trajectory.
According to Sport Fokus, Ferrari has shown interest in acquiring Hamilton's services for some time, but previous attempts were rebuffed, with the seven-time champion believing Mercedes provided a better path to success. However, after two challenging seasons with Mercedes, it seems Ferrari might have persuaded Hamilton that they offer a brighter future.
Last year, Hamilton signed a multi-year contract with Mercedes for 2024 and 2025, but it appears the second season might have been optional. This opens the possibility for Hamilton to move to Ferrari in 2025 through a clause in his contract, should he choose to sign with them.
Both Ferrari and Mercedes have declined to comment on the situation, leaving the future uncertain.
The Potential Impact on Mercedes
Hamilton's departure would be a significant blow to Mercedes, especially after lengthy contract negotiations last year aimed at securing his services into 2024. Following the agreement, Hamilton expressed confidence in Mercedes' ability to bounce back from the struggles of the 2022/2023 seasons with their new car for the upcoming campaign.
In an interview with Motorsport.com at last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton remained optimistic about Mercedes' prospects, citing the team's values and focus. However, he acknowledged frustration in February over unheeded requests for changes.
The trigger for Hamilton's potential shift in loyalty from Mercedes, where he expected to end his F1 career, remains unclear. Early feedback from Mercedes' wind tunnel tests indicated that their new W15 car is a significant improvement. Additionally, Mercedes recently confirmed that team principal Toto Wolff and technical director James Allison have extended their long-term contracts, suggesting stability within the team.
Hamilton's move to Ferrari would not only change the dynamic within Formula 1 but also mark a new chapter in the career of one of the sport's most celebrated drivers.