Launch of the W15 and his final Mercedes F1 car leaves Hamilton “emotional”

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Before making his massive transfer to Ferrari for the 2025 season, Lewis Hamilton admitted it was “emotional and very surreal” as he attended the launch of the Mercedes W15.

On Wednesday morning, Mercedes introduced the W15 car, which comes less than two weeks after Hamilton triggered a clause in his contract to quit the team at the end of 2024 and join the Italian giants.

With Hamilton’s leaving, the most successful team-driver combination in Formula 1 history will come to an end. Since joining Mercedes from McLaren at the beginning of 2013, the British driver has won six of his seven World Championships.

Speaking during at the Silverstone introduction of the W15, Hamilton said that he felt overcome with emotion upon seeing the reveal of his final Mercedes car after breaking so many F1 records together.

“It’s obviously been emotional.

“It’s very surreal to be here, given that I came here in 2013 – 11 years with the team, starting my 12th.

“It is such a privilege to work with a group of people where you see the work they do over the winter, we’ve gone through this process over the last couple of years.

“You see a car come together at the beginning of the year – it’s the most exciting part of the season really, when you see in everyone’s launches.

“This is the first time I’ve seen the car come together as a whole, but to know everything that’s underneath the hood – which people won’t get to see but George [Russell] and I will get to experience on the track – it’s exciting.”

In a remarkable turn of events, Hamilton will spend the entire season with Mercedes knowing that he will be leaving the team after the season, although former teammate Fernando Alonso knows all about that as he revealed during the winter break between 2005 and 2006 that he would head to McLaren for 2007. In spite of that, he went to claim a second consecutive Drivers’ Championship.

Hamilton hasn’t won a race since the second-to-last race of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia, but the 39-year-old insists he’s still committed to leading the team toward glory again.

“The focus through the whole of winter training is getting the team back to where we once were.

“We’ve had this difficult couple of years which I think has been really grounding for us. It’s helped us regroup.

“We’ve had to relook [sic] at things and it’s now just going through the important process – being really diligent with our work, understanding the data, understanding the car, maximising for practice.

“Even just the one lap we might get in the rain today might give George and I a bit of a feeling of what’s to come.”