It’s the most important news of the start of the year: discussions between Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari were successful and the British driver will join the Maranello team starting with the 2025 Formula 1 championship. The Scuderia and the current Mercedes driver reached an agreement in the form of a future contract for the seven-time world champion.
Lewis Hamilton extended with Mercedes last August for 2024, with an option in 2025, for a salary of €60 million (excluding bonuses). This contract seemed like one of Lewis Hamilton’s final deals. Still, Ferrari’s offer includes a significant deal with John Elkann’s Exor Group.
A telling detail: during the afternoon of the announcement, Ferrari’s stock market value rose by 6%, an increase of €4 billion. This is the Lewis Hamilton effect on financial markets. Throughout the day of the official announcement, the Italian press faced off against the English press in a fascinating battle for exclusive information.
A contract aimed at Lewis Hamilton’s post-racing career
It was the disappointment of Lewis Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes. Despite lengthy discussions in the German automaker’s board, the quality of being an ambassador until 2035, proposed by the seven-time world champion, was rejected. This rejection resonated with John Elkann, who, in turn, proposed to expand Lewis Hamilton’s empire. An agreement that could reach €400 million.
The initial proposal from Ferrari’s boss spanned two seasons and €92 million (€46 million per season). This was at the beginning of 2023. Lewis Hamilton politely declined, stating that he didn’t want just a driver’s contract but multiple agreements to secure the future of his foundation, Mission 44. The current agreement is for €80 million for 2025, with an option for 2026. Approximately €20 million of this amount will be delivered in the form of bonuses to benefit the driver’s foundation.
The other part of the agreement with Ferrari concerns the post-racing period. John Elkann proposes creating a common investment fund with around €250 million, through the Exor family business, to invest in Lewis Hamilton’s projects and transform him into an ambassador for his own brand.