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Lewis Hamilton set to make a shocking move from Mercedes to Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton set to move to Ferrari in bombshell switch, less than a year after he denied £40m talks, with an ‘escape clause’ in Mercedes contract allowing him to cut £100m deal short

Lewis Hamilton will make a shock switch to Ferrari next year with a decision on the seven-time world champion’s future imminent.

Hamilton hasn’t won a race in two seasons and finished third in the overall drivers’ championship in 2023 after achieving six podium finishes.

But it’s all a far cry from his glory days with Mercedes, which witnessed world title successes in 2014 and 2015, then in four consecutive seasons between 2017 and 2020.

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Negotiations over the 39-year-old British racer’s move from Mercedes could be concluded by the end of the week in what would be a romantic end to his Formula One career.

After two challenging seasons for Mercedes, who have failed to keep pace with Red Bull, it is believed Ferrari are close to convincing Hamilton he stands a better chance of success with them.

That would allow Hamilton to move to Ferrari for the 2025 season with a view for taking on Red Bull once again at the front of the field.

Ferrari offered Hamilton the chance to win his dream eighth world championship in their famous red car last year and were willing to break the bank with a £40m deal.

The vision was for Hamilton to surpass former Ferrari favourite Michael Schumacher, who won five of his seven titles with them.

But Hamilton chose to stay with Mercedes, who duly gained less than half of Red Bull’s points total in the constructors’ championship. 

The Hamilton family have long harboured a nagging ambition to see Lewis drive for Ferrari one day. 

His father, Anthony, confided as much when he was still his son’s manager, not long after Lewis made an unforgettable impression on his debut in 2007.

The Ferrari bombshell comes less than a year after Hamilton denied talks with the Italian marque over a huge £40million deal.

Instead Hamilton signed a multi-year £100m deal to stay with Mercedes for 2024 and 2025, but it now appears an ‘escape clause’ was inserted into the contract.

Hamilton may also be influenced by the knowledge that his hero, Ayrton Senna, was due to drive for Ferrari in 1995, but for his death at Imola the previous year.

Ahead of the 2024 season, Hamilton has rejoined forces with right-hand man Marc Hynes in an effort to end Verstappen’s dominance.

Hynes was part of the Briton’s team between 2016 and 2021 having known Hamilton since they raced in junior categories.

The Telegraph reported that Hynes will be ‘solely focused on racing activities’ after returning to the fold having previously been CEO for Hamilton’s Project Forty Four management company.

Hamilton finished third in the drivers’ standings in 2023, an astonishing 341 points behind Verstappen, who claimed a third consecutive world title.

The seven-time world champion finished on the podiums six times, despite struggling with a capricious car.

Mercedes have since vowed their W15 will be drastically different from the W14 that struggled throughout last season as they look to close the gap from Red Bull, who have dominated the sport in the past three years.

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