Lewis Hamilton has spoken for the first time after his departure from Mercedes was formally announced at the end of 2024.
Hamilton has heavily been linked with a move to Ferrari for 2025, and will depart the team where he has won 82 Grands Prix and six of his seven titles since joining in 2013.
However, the Briton has not won since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and had grown frustrated at Mercedes' failures with its ground-effect cars as Max Verstappen romped to two titles in 2022 and 2023.
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Hamilton speaks out
"I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I'm so proud of what we have achieved together," explained Hamilton.
"Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old. It's a place where I have grown up, so making the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.
"But the time is right for me to take this step and I'm excited to be taking on a new challenge. I will be forever grateful for the incredible support of my Mercedes family, especially Toto for his friendship and leadership and I want to finish on a high together.
"I am 100% committed to delivering the best performance I can this season and making my last year with the Silver Arrows, one to remember."