Lewis Hamilton says move to Ferrari from Mercedes ‘doesn’t need vindicating’ amid irritation at coverage | F1 News

Lewis Hamilton said his decision to join Ferrari doesn’t need “vindicating” as he criticised “talk” around his move from Mercedes next season.

The seven-time world champion stunned the sporting world in February as he confirmed that 2024 would be his 12th and final season with Mercedes ahead of a move to the Italian team.

Hamilton has been regularly asked about his impending switch during the early stages of the 2024 season, which has seen Ferrari make a far stronger start than Mercedes.

“I don’t feel like I need my decision vindicating,” Hamilton said in Shanghai on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

“I know what was right for me, and that hasn’t changed since the moment that I made the decision.

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz tells the story behind Lewis Hamilton’s shock decision to join Ferrari in 2025

“There’s not been a moment where I questioned it, and I’m not swayed by other people’s comments.”

The move will be just the second time Hamilton has changed teams in F1, with the 39-year-old’s other switch coming when he left McLaren to join Mercedes in 2012.

While that decision was revealed significantly later in the year preceding it than Hamilton’s Ferrari move, the Brit says he will use that experience to cope with the process this time around.

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Lewis Hamilton went on the team radio to ask if he should let team-mate George Russell through, who appeared faster at the Japanese Grand Prix

“Even today, there’s people continuing to talk **** and it will continue on for the rest of the year,” he added. “And I’ll have to just do what I did the previous time.

“Only you can know what’s right for you and it will be an exciting time for me.”

‘Ferrari move no short-term thing’

Hamilton’s multi-year agreement with Ferrari, which runs until at least the end of 2026, means he is set to drive for the Italian team for the first season of new engine and design regulations.

Red Bull have dominated since the current regulations were introduced in 2022, but the changes have the potential to completely reset the field.

Asked if Ferrari acing the new regulations and delivering him a championship car in 2026 could lead to him extending his career, Hamilton offered a positive response.

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We return to China 2017 as Lewis Hamilton dominates in the Mercedes ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen

“I’m going to be racing well into my forties,” he said. “So yeah, it’s no short-term thing.”

Hamilton is still not set to be the oldest driver on the grid over the next two seasons, after long-time rival Fernando Alonso last week announced the extension of his Aston Martin contract, also until the end of 2026.

Hamilton, who drove alongside Alonso at McLaren in an ill-tempered 2007 campaign, welcomed the Spaniard’s decision to extend his career.

“I’m going to be racing for quite some time still, so it’s definitely good that he (Alonso) is still around,” Hamilton added. “I hope that he keeps going for a little bit longer as well.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Chinese GP schedule

China schedule

Friday April 19
4am: Chinese GP Practice One (session starts at 4.30am)*
8am: Chinese GP Sprint Qualifying (session starts at 8.30am)*

Saturday April 20
3.30am: Chinese GP Sprint (race starts at 4am)*
7am: Chinese GP Qualifying build-up*
8am: Chinese GP Qualifying*
10am: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook*

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A quick look back at some of the biggest moments from the Chinese Grand Prix over the years…

Sunday April 21
7am: Grand Prix Sunday: Chinese GP build-up*
8am: The CHINESE GRAND PRIX*
10am: Chequered Flag: Chinese GP reaction*
11am: Ted’s Notebook*

*also live on Sky Sports Main Event

Next up is the return of the Chinese Grand Prix on April 19-21, which is also the first Sprint weekend of the season. You can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 and steam every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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