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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton explains 'huge challenge' he faces at Ferrari

The seven-time World Champion will join Ferrari to partner Charles Leclerc in 2025.

Lewis Hamilton 2024 testing
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Lewis Hamilton says his shock move to Ferrari for 2025 was driven in part by the "huge challenge" of restoring the team to title-winning ways.

Despite signing a new two-year Mercedes contract last year, Hamilton stunned the F1 world on February 1st when it was announced he had activated a break clause, and would sign for Ferrari from 2025.

He will continue for a 12th and final season at Mercedes, during which time he has won 82 Grands Prix and six of his seven titles before departing to partner Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton has described the decision as a "childhood dream", and that the prospect of rebuilding Ferrari and taking it to its first Drivers' championship since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 a big part of his decision.

"Obviously in the summer, I re-signed and at that time, I saw my future at Mercedes," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.

"But an opportunity came up in the new year and I decided to take it, it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make.

"I've been with Mercedes for about 26 years, they've supported me and we've had an absolutely incredible journey together.

"We've created history within the sport, and it is something I take a lot of pride in and I am very proud of what we've achieved.

"But ultimately, I'm writing my story, and I felt like this would be the time to start a new chapter.

"I think for every driver growing up, watching history, watching Michael Schumacher in his prime, probably all of us sit in out garage and see the screen pop up and you see the driver in the red cockpit and you wonder what it'd be like to be surrounded by it.

"You go to the Italian Grand Prix, we see the sea of red of Ferrari fans and you can only stand in awe of that.

"It is a team that has not had huge success since Michael's days and since 2007, and I saw it as a huge challenge.

"As a kid, I used to play [video games] as Michael in that car, so it is definitely a dream, and I am really, really excited about it."

Learning Italian

Hamilton also briefly touched on whether he would be learning Italian ahead of the switch.

"All these years, I've not been able to learn any other languages, but of course, I will definitely try," he said.

"I do remember when I was karting in Italy, I was able to pick up a few lines, and so hopefully that will come back to me pretty quickly.

"But this chapter [at Mercedes] is still not finished, and I'm still 100% focused on doing the best with this team this year.

"We are trying to finish on a high, that is the big goal for me and the team and I have absolute faith in everything and everyone at the team.

"What we've done so far is great, so I really hope that we are somehow able ot close the gaps to Red Bull somehow."

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