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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Lewis Hamilton Stuns Formula One With Shift to Ferrari Team

  • Ferrari stock rises more 12%, fueled in part by news of legendary driver’s arrival.
  • F1 team turns to all-time wins leader in bid to disrupt Red Bull’s current dominance.
Lewis Hamilton
Austin American-Statesman

The business fortunes of two Formula One teams are set to be significantly altered as seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is finalizing a switch from Mercedes to Ferrari beginning in 2025, sending shockwaves throughout the motor sports world.

Hamilton, F1’s all-time wins leader, is poised to join a Ferrari team that has a proud lineage in F1, having competed in every season, but has not won a drivers’ title since Kimi Räikkönen in 2007. In ’23, Hamilton finished third in the standings behind the dominant Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, and earned $55 million, trailing only Verstappen, and ranking as one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. 

Ferrari’s U.S. stock listing rose more than 12.5% on Thursday to reach an all-time high of $389.45 per share, boosted by the Hamilton news and a strong quarterly earnings report beating Wall Street projections. Hamilton now forms a “dream team” of sorts at Ferrari with fellow F1 star Charles Leclerc, 2023’s No. 5 driver.

Before the Hamilton shift, Ferrari’s team carried an estimated value of $3.9 billion, tops in F1, while Mercedes ranked a close second at $3.8 billion. Hamilton exercised a release option in his contract to enable the move to Ferrari.

“We knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come,” said Toto Wolff, Mercedes CEO and team principal. 

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