Hamilton denies Mercedes suggestion as reason for Ferrari switch

The seven-time World Champion will depart after the 2024 season for a multi-year deal with Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton has denied suggestions that his decision to leave Mercedes was due to losing ‘faith’ in the team’s ability to contend for championships.

After developing flawed machines for 2022 and 2023, Mercedes’ W15 was conventionally designed, providing the team a good platform on which to build for the rest of 2024 – which will be Hamilton’s final season with the team.

He is to leave for Ferrari in 2025, having described it as a “childhood dream” and being enticed by the challenge of restoring the team to title-winning ways, with its last Drivers’ crown coming in Hamilton’s rookie season of 2007 through Kimi Raikkonen.

When pushed on whether his decision was a lack of faith in Mercedes, he flatly denied the idea and backed Mercedes to win again.

“I’m 100% a Mercedes driver right now, that’s my sole focus this year, and as I said, I don’t want to have any of this distract me from doing the job for this team,” Hamilton told media including RacingNews365 before the Bahrain opener.

“I want to finish on a high. I think there’s been a huge amount of work over the winter, and I have so much faith in this team.

“I see the motivation in everybody that I’ve worked with for so many years. It’s not just a normal driver partnering. There’s no other team that’s had what we’ve had.

“There’s no other team that’s achieved what we’ve achieved, and the relationships I have with the people within my team go very deep, so my goal is to deliver for them.

“And this year, if I can have the best year in terms of delivery that I’ve ever had, that would be… I’d be really happy with that.

“Next year, I’ve got all new relationships, a whole new environment, new language, everything, so it’s two separate things and both just as exciting.

“I truly believe that this team is going to win another championship. It’s an incredible group of people and it’s really well run.

“Mercedes has such an incredible history and from the board down, they are ultimately really heavily invested in racing and in so many areas, regardless of whether or not this is a championship-winning car. that won’t have any bearing on how I feel about the next stage of my career.

“It’s all about a new chapter in my life, and I really feel like I’ve done everything I could possibly do with this team.

“I’m on the back end of my career. I love a challenge, and this is the ultimate challenge, really, to go to a team that is incredibly iconic, has also amazing history, but also has not had as much success, I guess, as they would have hoped in the past decade or so.”

Gideon Canice

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