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Lewis Hamilton: Final Mercedes car launch a 'surreal' experience

Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton admits it is "surreal" to be involved in his last Mercedes car launch.

Speaking publicly for the first time since his blockbuster move to Ferrari for 2025 was confirmed, Hamilton, 39, said: "(The last few weeks) have obviously been emotional and it is very surreal to be here.

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

"We have had these difficult couple of years which have been really grounding for us. It has helped us regroup and really look at things."

Team principal Toto Wolff, standing alongside his soon-to-be departing star driver, added: "It has been a very busty winter. It will be our last season with Lewis so we are keen on bringing a quick car."

Hamilton, who joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013, won six of his record-equalling seven world championships with the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes only last August, but over the winter he stunned the sporting world after he elected to end his deal 12 months early and join Ferrari.

Hamilton, who fielded just three questions from the Mercedes moderator during a brief nine-minute launch, added: "I came here in 2013 so 11 years with the team and now I am 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 and you see a car come together at the beginning of the year and it is the most exciting part of the season."

Hamilton, without a win in two years, and team-mate George Russell, will get their first taste of this season’s Mercedes during a shakedown test at a wet Silverstone on Wednesday.

Hamilton added: "We have to be diligent, maximise practice and even one lap, George and I might get in the rain today will give us a feeling of what is to come."

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton has been in contact with future Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc

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