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Mercedes AMG-Petronas F1 Team announced Thursday they will part ways with seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton at the end of the 2024 season after Hamilton activated a release option in the contract he signed last August. Hamilton will move to Scuderia Ferrari in 2025, with the team announcing Hamilton has signed a multi-year contract with them.

Hamilton's move from Mercedes to Ferrari ends a decade-long run with the team, which Hamilton first joined in 2013 after driving his first six F1 seasons with McLaren. Hamilton enjoyed a remarkable period of dominance with Mercedes' works team in an eight-year stretch from 2014 to 2021 in which he won six world championships -- giving him seven total, a mark tied with Michael Schumacher for the most all-time -- scored 81 Grand Prix victories and never finished worse than second in the world championship. 

However, Hamilton has gone winless the past two seasons, including a 2022 season in which he finished a career-worst sixth in the world championship.

"I have had an amazing 11 years with this team and I'm so proud of what we have achieved together," Hamilton said in a statement. "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 [team principal Toto Wolff] 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."

The signing of Hamilton by Ferrari aligns the most successful F1 driver of his generation -- and arguably the greatest of all time -- with the sport's most recognizable team and one of its most successful. However, the signing of Hamilton comes at the expense of Carlos Sainz, who announced following the announcements surrounding Hamilton that he will part ways with Ferrari following the 2024 season.

"We still have a long season ahead of us and, like always, I will give my absolute best for the Team and for the Tifosi all around the world," read a statement by Sainz. "News about my future will be announced in due course."

With Sainz leaving Ferrari and searching for a new team in 2025, it is expected that Hamilton will be paired with Charles Leclerc as his teammate in 2025. Leclerc has become a rising star in F1 since joining Ferrari full-time in 2019, standing out most notably in a 2022 season in which he won three times en route to a second-place finish in the world championship standings.