Lewis Hamilton, the celebrated driver who has been with Mercedes since 2013, was due for a contract termination by the end of this year. However, it was widely anticipated that he would renew his contract and prolong his partnership with the elite team.
In parallel, George Russell was already bound to race with Mercedes up until the end of the 2024 season, under the terms of a long-term contract he had clinched with the team in 2021. The recent announcement, made at the 2023 Italian Grand Prix, broadens this agreement, extending it for an additional season.
Hamilton addressed his driving journey so far, stating, “We dream every day 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.”
In the same vein, he added, “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.” Expressing his commitment to their shared endeavor, he said, “Our story isn’t finished, we are determined to achieve more together and we won’t stop until we do.”
Russell, too, expressed his delight at his contract extension, saying, “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 [Wolff, team principal] and the rest of the team placed in me.”
The delay in Hamilton’s contract extension renewal in 2023 had been the subject of much speculation and conjecture. There were even rumors of a possible shift to a different team. A prominent one suggested that Ferrari was mulling over an offer for him ahead of that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
However, after Toto Wolff hinted at the impending disclosure of Hamilton’s new deal “in days” during a conference in New York before the Canadian GP, it never materialized. Insiders from the team, however, asserted that the delay was merely due to standard legal procedures related to the contract.
The team principal, Wolff mentioned, “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.” He lauded both Hamilton’s skills and his leadership, “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.”
This development confirms that Hamilton and Russell will take to the tracks as Mercedes team-mates for a minimum of four seasons, following the latter’s replacement of Valtteri Bottas in 2022. It also puts to bed any potential aspirations of Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc joining Mercedes upon the expiration of his existing contract with Scuderia at the end of 2024.