Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari sparks immediate Toto Wolff, Mercedes response at F1 factory

Mercedes have now called an emergency team briefing at their factory in Brackley to confirm that Lewis Hamilton will leave the F1 team for Ferrari after the 2024 season.

Team principal Toto Wolff and technical director James Allison are expected to tell the Silver Arrows’ staff members that Hamilton has decided to switch to Maranello. That is according to BBC Sport, which reports that Mercedes’ crew will convene at 14:00 GMT on February 1.

The BBC’s chief F1 writer, Andrew Benson, further notes that several senior sources suggest Ferrari could confirm Hamilton’s arrival as soon as this Thursday. He has already reached an agreement to partner Charles Leclerc in red and replace Carlos Sainz at the team from 2025.

Toto Wolff will tell Mercedes’ staff that Lewis Hamilton is leaving for Ferrari on Thursday

Hamilton only signed a new, two-year contract to extend his long-standing relationship with Mercedes in August. But it is now apparent that the deal included an option for the 39-year-old to split from the Silver Arrows after 2024 should he choose to after 12 seasons together.

The seven-time F1 champion will replace Sainz at Ferrari, who were in negotiations with the 29-year-old about a new contract. But the Scuderia have pivoted to Hamilton over awarding Sainz a new contract beyond 2024. The Spaniard is out of contract at the end of this season.

Ferrari president John Elkann decided to ditch Carlos Sainz to target Lewis Hamilton

Ferrari president John Elkann has led the Maranello outfit’s decision to target Hamilton over giving Sainz any new contract. The American discovered that it was possible for the Briton to part with Mercedes after 2024. Elkann and Hamilton are friends and have often met socially.

Now, after years of rumours, Mercedes icon Hamilton is set to join Ferrari in 2025 and race in Formula 1 with a new power unit manufacturer for the very first time. Mercedes also made the engines Hamilton used at McLaren from 2007 to 2012 before then signing him for 2013.

Hamilton will also now have a chance to overtake Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher as the most successful F1 driver with the Scuderia. They currently stand alone with seven F1 titles each. Hamilton has won six of his titles at Mercedes, while Schumacher won five for Ferrari.

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