Last year, the Formula 1 silly season was a rather dull affair, as the 20 drivers that finished the 2023 season are set to start the 2024 season in the same 20 spots, a first for the sport.
The odds are increasing that the same will not be true for 2025.
Per multiple reports, Lewis Hamilton is set to make a shocking move to Ferrari for the 2025 season, which would mean the 2024 campaign would be his last with Mercedes. Motorsport was among the first outlets to confirm the report, along with Sky Sports F1.
According to the report from Sky Sports F1, Mercedes employees will be informed of the decision at the team’s Brackley factory on Thursday, ahead of an official announcement.
An update from Sky Sports F1 on Thursday indicated that the team’s employees were informed of the move at a brief meeting, and an official announcement would be coming later in the day:
“It is huge, huge news”
Mercedes employees in Brackley have been told that Lewis Hamilton will be leaving at the end of the 2024 season ️ pic.twitter.com/vJ81IaS9GH
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) February 1, 2024
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes was a big story last season, as the driver was in the final year of his deal. Eventually he and the team signed a two-year contract extension that would keep him with Mercedes through the 2025 season. However, there is now growing speculation that the deal was simply a one-year deal with an option for 2025, which may now come into play with the move to Ferrari. Rumors of a potential shock move to the Scuderia were rampant a season ago, but were repeatedly dismissed by the involved parties.
As for Ferrari, they announced in January a contract extension for Charles Leclerc. However, Carlos Sainz Jr., who is under contract through 2024, has yet to receive an extension of his own. Sainz has consistently been linked to Audi, as the German manufacturer is set to join the grid as a works team in 2026.
A move to Ferrari for Hamilton would represent not just a seismic shift in the sport, but it would also be a reunion for the seven-time Drivers’ champion. Early in his career, when Hamilton was competing in the lower levels, he drove for Frederic Vasseur’s teams. Hamilton drove for Vasseur’s ASM and ART teams when he won the Formula 3 Euroseries and the GP2 championship in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
Vasseur is now the Team Principal at Ferrari.