Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team is shifting loyalties in 2025, when he is expected to move to Ferrari. He is 39 years old.
The motorsport world was so rocked by the news that media outlets were abuzz with the report even before F1 officially acknowledged the information. In the wee hours of this morning—Philippine time—the F1 website belatedly released the story, saying that Hamilton “will make a sensational switch from Mercedes to Ferrari next year on a multiyear contract, a move he called ‘one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make’.”
You will recall that Hamilton was under contract with Mercedes through the 2025 season. This new development obviously cuts that at the end of this year.
We mentioned the driver’s age in the opening paragraph to remind you that Hamilton is old by athletes’ standards. He has completed 17 seasons, all driving Mercedes cars (starting with McLaren in 2007). Having said that, we honestly believe that Sir Lewis is still capable and competitive. In fact, he finished the 2023 season in third place—just behind the Red Bull drivers and way ahead of his much younger teammate George Russell 234-175. Bear in mind that Russell is a championship-caliber driver who is not even 26 years old.
So, Hamilton moving to Ferrari at this stage of his career is not comparable to a clearly aging Michael Jordan joining the Washington Wizards in 2001. If at all, this is like LeBron James still chasing the glory of Jordan. Incidentally, James is now also 39 years old.
But while LeBron is still gifted physically speaking, he lacks the killer mindset of Jordan—something he needs if he is to vanquish his young competitors. Hamilton, we think, has both—the body and the mind to accomplish his goal.
And what a lofty goal that is. Besides the ever-present challenge of three-time champion Max Verstappen, Hamilton will now have to fend off a really strong teammate in Charles Leclerc.
Of course, much of what Lewis Hamilton could achieve with his new team would depend on his car. So, will Ferrari be on a par with Red Bull in 2025?
All we can say is that Formula 1 promises to be exciting again.