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Lewis Hamilton says driving for Ferrari will be a 'childhood dream' come true

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LONDON -

Driving for Ferrari next year will be a dream come true for Lewis Hamilton but the seven-time Formula One champion remains "100% committed" to Mercedes until then, he wrote Saturday.

The upcoming F1 season will be Hamilton's last with Mercedes before he joins Ferrari in 2025 in a move that shocked the auto racing world. He said he's been filled with "a whole range of emotions" this week.

"I feel incredibly fortunate, after achieving things with Mercedes that I could only have dreamed of as a kid, that I now have the chance to fulfill another childhood dream. Driving in Ferrari red," Hamilton wrote on Instagram.

Writing that "the time is right to make a change and take on a new challenge," the 39-year-old Hamilton likened the move to joining Mercedes from McLaren 11 years ago. Until then, Mercedes had been struggling to keep up with F1's top teams.

"I still remember the feeling of taking a leap of faith into the unknown when I first joined Mercedes in 2013," he wrote. "I know some people didn't understand it at the time but I was right to make the move then and it's the feeling I have again now. I'm excited to see what I can bring to this new opportunity and what we can do together."

Hamilton won six of his seven titles with Mercedes, most recently in 2020 before he was beaten in controversial circumstances by Max Verstappen of Red Bull at the season finale in Abu Dhabi in 2021. He has not added to his tally of 103 career F1 Grand Prix wins since then.

Hamilton paid tribute to Mercedes, team principal Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda, who as non-executive chairman of Mercedes was an influential figure before his death in 2019.

"I am more driven than ever, I am fitter and more focused than than ever and I want to help Mercedes win once again," he added. "I am 100% committed to the job I need to do and determined to end my partnership with the team on a high."

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