Cyprus Mail
Formula 1Sport

Hamilton and Russell extend Mercedes contracts

merc
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has signed a new contract with Mercedes and will continue to partner compatriot George Russell in 2024 and 2025, the team said on Thursday.

No financial details were given, although media reports have suggested the deal could be worth 50 million pounds a year ($63.41 million) for Hamilton.

The 38-year-old Briton last won a race in 2021, with Red Bull and double world champion Max Verstappen now dominant after ending Mercedes’s record run of eight successive constructors’ world titles.

Hamilton, the sport’s most successful driver, joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013 and has taken six titles and 82 of his 103 career victories with the team.

The announcement came as no surprise, with both sides keen to continue, although the contract negotiations dragged on longer than expected.

“We have never been hungrier to win,” said Hamilton in a team statement.

“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.”

Russell joined the Mercedes lineup last season as replacement for Valtteri Bottas and took his first victory in Brazil — the last time Red Bull were beaten.

‘STRONGEST PAIRING’

“Continuing with our current driver lineup was a straightforward decision,” said team boss and co-owner Toto Wolff.

“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.”

The Austrian said Hamilton’s leadership qualities would be crucial for Mercedes but his influence went well beyond the sporting arena.

“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,” said Wolff.

The team boss praised Russell, 25, for his speed and tenacity

“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.”

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