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Everyone is a Ferrari fan, including Lewis Hamilton

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1
It was announced on Feb. 1, that Lewis Hamilton will be leaving the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Team and switching to Scuderia Ferrari for the 2025 season.

Formula 1 fans were shocked on Feb. 1 when it was announced that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton would leave the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and switch to Scuderia Ferrari for the 2025 season.  

Hamilton joined the Mercedes team in 2013 and won six of his seven world championships with Mercedes. According to statement released by Mercedes, Hamilton had a contract agreement to stay with the team until the 2025 season, but his contract came with a release option that allowed Hamilton to leave earlier if he wished to do so. 

Days prior to the announcement, rumors circulated that Hamilton had decided to switch teams. Sky Sports, one of the major sports and F1 news publications, shared the story which led many fans to speculate, with many not believing the news to be reliable.  

To justify all rumors, team principal and CEO of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, released a statement addressing the news.  

“In terms of a team-driver pairing, our relationship with Lewis has become the most successful the sport has seen, and that’s something we can look back on with pride; Lewis will always be an important part of Mercedes motorsport history,” Wolff said. “However, we knew our partnership would come to a natural end at some point, and that day has now come. We accept Lewis’s decision to seek a fresh challenge, and our opportunities for the future are exciting to contemplate. But for now, we still have one season to go, and we are focused on going racing to deliver a strong 2024.” 

Hamilton addressed the news and his fans through his Instagram account.  

“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.” 

Hamilton goes on to express his gratitude for Mercedes and his friendships, not only for their work but also regarding his friendship with Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda, a three-time world champion and non-executive chairman of Mercedes who passed away in 2019.  

Local El Paso F1 fans shared their reactions to the news over the team changes. 

“I was totally shocked about the move. I knew that a lot of driver’s contracts were ending this season but Lewis to Ferrari was never in my 2025 season cards,” said El Paso local and Ferrari fan, Victoria McMullen. “I really thought he was going to stay at Mercedes considering his record there. I’m sad about the end of Charles and Carlos’s partnership, as they were my favorite team out of everyone for sure.” 

UTEP student and Mercedes fan, Marcelino Lopez shared how unlike many of his fellow fans, he was not shocked about the change.  

“Honestly, I saw it coming because there have been a lot of problems with the Mercedes car during the last two seasons and competing against Red Bull who have dominated the sport,” Lopez said. 

 “Since Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion, not even being in the top two I think is something that affected him mentally. It’s like something many have said that even if you drive for another team, everyone is a Ferrari fan. Ferrari gave him an opportunity; an opportunity he did not want to let go off.” 

McMullen shared some of the hopes and theories they have for the teams and their current and future drivers. 

“I think Charles (Leclerc) and Lewis have a good chance of being a powerhouse of a team if they have a good dynamic, but I think the first seat might go to Lewis given his experience and wins over Charles,” McMullen said. “I think we will see (Alex) Albon (current William driver) to Mercedes given his relationship with (George) Russel (current Mercedes driver) and I think this pretty much confirms Carlos (Sainz) to Audi for 2026” 

Lopez also commented on his expectations for the 2025 season.  

“I think that Mercedes is going to replace Lewis Hamiliton with, I hope, Fernando Alonso (current Ashton Martin driver). I think he is a good option for that seat,” Lopez said. “My expectations for Ferrari are that they are going to stay in the same place as last season, even if Lewis is a good driver if Ferrari does not change its strategy this season a good driver is no use.” 

The 2024 season still lies ahead for these F1 teams, which means Mercedes fans will still be able to see Hamilton race for their team and Ferrari fans get a chance to say goodbye to Carlos Sainz.  

F1 fans should still prepare for more shocking news as twelve of the twenty drivers on the grid have contracts that expire at the end of the season opening the opportunity for changes and possible, fresh faces.  

Ximena Cordero is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Ximena Cordero
Ximena Cordero, Staff Reporter
Ximena Cordero is a freshman at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is a staff reporter at The Prospector. She is majoring in communications and deciding between a minor in creative writing or English literature. After graduating, she would like to pursue a master's degree, work as a journalist or communication specialist, and maybe even write her own books. She wants a career that will allow her to explore the world and see new perspectives and cultures.
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