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Lewis Hamilton says he’s fulfilling ‘childhood dream’ by joining Ferrari

<i>Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images</i><br/>Lewis Hamilton says that his move to Ferrari was one of the
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton says that his move to Ferrari was one of the "hardest" decisions he's ever had to make.

By Patrick Sung, CNN

(CNN) — Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said that he’s fulfilling a “childhood dream” by joining Ferrari in 2025 in his first social media post since his sensational move away from Mercedes was announced on Thursday.

“It’s been a crazy few days which have been filled with a whole range of emotions. But as you all now know, after an incredible 11 years at Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, the time has come for me to start a new chapter in my life and I will be joining Scuderia Ferrari in 2025,” Hamilton said on his social media channels on Saturday.

“I feel incredibly fortunate, after achieving things with Mercedes that I could only have dreamed of as a kid, that I now have the chance to fulfil another childhood dream. Driving in Ferrari red.”

Hamilton’s shock move to the Italian outfit to replace Spanish driver Carlos Sainz was first reported by Sky Sports and Spanish media on Thursday and has taken the motorsport world by storm, with the move being called “the single biggest driver transfer in the history of the sport” by F1 broadcaster Will Buxton.

The 39-year-old Hamilton, who shares the record for the most F1 world titles with Michael Schumacher, joined Mercedes in 2013 after beginning his career with McLaren in 2007.

Despite signing an extension with Mercedes until 2025 in August last year, the team said in a statement that Hamilton had “activated a release option in the contract” and would depart the Silver Arrows at the conclusion of the upcoming campaign.

Ferrari announced shortly after that it had signed Hamilton to “a multi-year contract.”

In his Saturday post, Hamilton was clear that, while the “time is right to make a change and take on a new challenge,” the decision was not an easy one to make.

“Mercedes has been a huge part of my life since I was 13 years old, so this decision has been the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” Hamilton said. “I’m incredibly proud of all that we’ve achieved together and I’m very grateful for the hard work and dedication of everyone I have worked with over the years and of course [Mercedes team principal] Toto [Wolff], for his friendship, guidance and leadership.

“Together we have won titles, broken records and become the most successful Driver-Team partnership in F1 history. And of course I cannot forget [former Mercedes non-executive chairman and three-time F1 world champion] Niki [Lauda] who was a huge supporter and who I still miss everyday.”

While the British driver said that he’s excited about the new challenge with the Scuderia, he was adamant that all his focus was on the upcoming season with Mercedes.

“I am more driven than ever, I am fitter and more focussed than ever and I want to help Mercedes win once again. I am 100% committed to the job I need to do and determined to end my partnership with the team on a high.”

Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, will likely agree with the sentiment, posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday: “It’s been special racing alongside you, @lewishamilton. Let’s make this season one to remember.”

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CNN’s Samuel Joseph contributed to this report.

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