In many ways, it’s the logical choice to retain both your drivers through 2025 given that one of them is a very promising young talent in the shape of George Russell and the other is a 7-time world champion in the form of Lewis Hamilton. Easy choice.
Mercedes is trying to iron out some complex elements of their car design that has seen them on the back foot for two seasons now and the drivers they have are the least of their issues. George and Lewis are always going to extrapolate the maximum form the car but the same can’t be said of the car at the moment.
With that in mind, the announcement today that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be driving for the team through 2025 makes sense. From my standpoint, it’s a cost/benefit analysis and I would be very interested to know what they are paying Lewis for his services.
Here is the Mercedes announcement:
The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team is delighted to announce that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will continue to lead its driver line-up for the next two seasons. The duo has been paired together since the start of the 2022 season and each driver continues long-standing relationships with the team.
Lewis will drive for the Team in the 2024 and 2025 seasons and continue an historic relationship that has secured six World Drivers’ Championships and eight World Constructors’ Championships. Since joining the works team, Lewis has taken 82 victories and 78 pole positions en route to becoming the most successful driver in the sport’s history. The extension ensures the continuation of the most successful team and driver pairing in Formula One history into at least a 13th year.
George has extended a relationship that first began in 2017 until the end of the 2025 season. The then 18-year-old joined the team’s Junior programme before rising through the ranks to F1. After starring at Williams, he was promoted to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2022 and claimed his maiden Grand Prix victory in last year’s São Paulo Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton commented:
“We dream everyday of being the best and we have dedicated the past decade together to achieving that goal. Being at the top does not happen overnight or over a short period of time, it takes commitment, hard work and dedication and it’s been an honour to earn our way into the history books with this incredible team.
“We have never been hungrier to win. We have learnt from every success but also every setback. We continue to chase our dreams, we continue to fight no matter the challenge and we will win again. I’m grateful to the team who have supported me both on and off the track. Our story isn’t finished, we are determined to achieve more together and we won’t stop until we do.”
George Russell commented:
“I have grown up with this team ever since joining as part of the Junior programme back in 2017. It’s my home and it feels fantastic to extend our special relationship through 2025.
“After stepping up to the Mercedes race seat last year, I wanted to reward the trust and belief that Toto and the rest of the team placed in me. Taking my first pole position and race win last year was an unforgettable feeling. More importantly though, it’s been great to work with everybody at Brackley and Brixworth to make progress with our car and push forward our development. Their loyalty, vision and hard work is inspiring.
“We have made some significant steps over the last 18 months and are only getting stronger as a team. I’m excited to help continue to build on that momentum as we progress into 2024 and 2025 as we continue to focus on returning to the very front of the pack.”
Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal, continued:
“Continuing with our current driver line-up was a straightforward decision. We have the strongest pairing on the grid and both drivers are playing a crucial role in the team to move us forward. The strength and stability they provide will be key building blocks for our future success.
“Our partnership with Lewis is one of the most successful in the sport’s history. It was always a formality that we would continue together – and it’s energising for us all to be confirming that publicly. His qualities as a pure racing driver are illustrated by his remarkable track record; but over our years together, he has grown to become a pillar and leader of our team. Those leadership qualities are crucial as we focus on fighting for world championships again. As F1’s biggest global star, he has also played a key role in shaping our commitments to diversity, inclusion and sustainability, that will be foundations for our success in the years ahead.
”George is a leading light of his generation. He has repaid the faith we showed in him when promoting him to a race seat in 2022. His maiden pole position in Hungary and first Grand Prix victory in São Paulo were standout moments last season. As a driver, he combines razor-sharp speed with the tenacity of a true fighter. But he brings, too, an intelligence and attention to detail that will help him to continue to grow, develop and improve further. He is a natural fit to the team and we are delighted to have extended the relationship for the coming years.”