Lewis Hamilton Reflects on Emotional Mercedes Farewell as He Eyes New Challenge with Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton Reflects on Emotional Mercedes Farewell as He Eyes New Challenge with Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula One world champion, took part in the final Formula One car launch of his Mercedes career on Wednesday, marking the end of an era for the British racing icon. Hamilton, who will depart Mercedes at the conclusion of the 2024 season, is set to embark on a new chapter with Ferrari in a move that has sent shockwaves through the motorsport community.

The 39-year-old had previously inked a lucrative two-year deal with Mercedes worth £100 million ($126 million) in August, but a recent activation of a break clause paved the way for his switch to the Italian powerhouse. Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari was fueled by the irresistible allure of “driving in Ferrari red,” a prospect too enticing for the veteran driver to resist.

Addressing the media at the Mercedes launch, Hamilton expressed his sentiments, saying, “The last few weeks have obviously been emotional, and it is very surreal to be here.” Reflecting on his time with the team, he added, “The focus through the whole of winter training is getting the team back to where we once were. We have had these difficult couple of years which have been really grounding for us. It has helped us regroup and really look at things.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton’s sentiments, acknowledging the significance of the forthcoming season as the team bids farewell to its star driver. “It has been a very busy winter. It will be our last season with Lewis, so we are keen on bringing a quick car,” Wolff stated.

Hamilton’s tenure with Mercedes has been nothing short of spectacular, with six of his record-equaling seven world championships clinched under the Silver Arrows banner. However, recent seasons have seen Hamilton face stiff competition from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, particularly after narrowly missing out on his eighth world championship in 2021.

As Hamilton prepares to bid farewell to Mercedes and embark on a new challenge with Ferrari, his final car launch with the team was marked by a sense of nostalgia and reflection. The British driver, who joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013, reminisced about his time with the team, stating, “It is such a privilege to work with a group of people where you see the work they do over the winter and you see a car come together at the beginning of the year, and it is the most exciting part of the season.”