Ahead of this season's Italian Grand Prix, Mercedes announced that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will continue to lead its driver line-up for the next two seasons.
After Valtteri Bottas left the Anglo-German outfit at the end of the 2021 F1 season, the duo has been paired together since the start of the 2022 season.
The new contract will see Hamilton drive for Mercedes 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, the seven-time world champion has taken 82 victories and 78 pole positions en route to becoming the most successful driver in the sport’s history.
Russell joined the Mercedes team in 2017, becoming member of the team’s Junior programme. After racing for Williams, the King's Lynn-born driver was promoted to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2022 and claimed his maiden Grand Prix victory in last year’s São Paulo Grand Prix.
Commenting on the announcement, seven-time world champion Hamilton said: “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."
One-time Grand Prix winner Russell added: “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.”
The Team is delighted to announce that Lewis and George will continue to lead its driver line-up in 2024 and 2025. 💪 pic.twitter.com/MSdlhUrOX7— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) August 31, 2023
CEO and Team Principal Toto Wolff commented: "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.”