Lewis Hamilton is set to make a sensational move to Ferrari after 10 years at Mercedes, it emerged on Thursday.
The seven-time World Champion only signed a two-year new deal with Mercedes in the summer of 2023 but news started to circulate on February 1 that he is set to bring an early end to a partnership after a disappointing couple of years, just weeks before the start of the 2024 season.
Mercedes have been left in the dirt by Red Bull in the F1 in the last couple of seasons, having for so long led the way and dominated the Constructors’ Championship with eight successive wins, but their inability to consistently challenge on the podium has seen Hamilton opt for a move.
Hamilton, who has the most wins in F1 history, would be a huge coup for the Italian giants and it is believed that as part of his new deal signed last year, the second year was only an option and could pave the way for one of the biggest driver moves in recent history.
It would bring an end to a partnership that brought six Drivers’ Championships as well as the eight Constructors’ Championships, and see Hamilton most likely team up with Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari team.
However it should not be expected that this move will immediately reignite Hamilton’s aspirations for a ninth world title, with The Prancing Horse without a Drivers’ Champion since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, and without a Constructors’ Championship since 2008, but they do remain the sport’s most historied and famous team.
It was Ferrari who we the only team to break the dominance of Red Bull in the 2023 season, winning the Singapore Grand Prix thanks to Carlos Sainz, with Red Bull winning every single other race.
The move has had no immediate effect on the betting markets ahead of the 2024 season, which gets underway in just over a month, in Bahrain on March 2, with Ferrari fourth favourites to win the Constructors’ Championship - behind Mercedes - and Red Bull clear favourites.
Hamilton however, remains second favourite behind Max Verstappen but with a move lined up so close to the start of the season, it might take some time for him to settle into his new surroundings.