Although it has been said never to discuss salary with colleagues, Alex Albon had no qualms asking George Russell if his new Mercedes contract came with a “good salary”.
While most of the speculation about Mercedes’ line-up focused on Lewis Hamilton as Russell’s extension seemed a mere formality, the former Williams driver still had to discuss new terms with team boss Toto Wolff before signing on the dotted line.
The two agreed to a two-year extension through to the end of the 2025 season, the same as Hamilton’s, but while rumours claim the seven-time World Champion will be earning $63 million per season, nothing has been said about Russell’s salary.
George Russell has a ‘few less zeros’ than Lewis Hamilton
This season he’s on $8 million to Hamilton’s $53.75 million, but whether he’s also getting a 10 million pay raise is not known… But his good friend Albon would like to know.
“Salary good?” Albon asked as the two spoke with Sky Sports after Saturday’s qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. “I’m asking, just asking.”
Russell replied: “It’s fair.
“Toto said if we both walk away a little bit disappointed then I think that’s fair. But he probably had a small disappointed face on but when I closed the door he was probably smiling.”
Asked by presenter Craig Slater if it was ‘the same as Lewis’ salary, the 25-year-old said: “Maybe a few less zeros.”
Russell’s extension means he’ll be on the grid for a sixth and seventh season while for Hamilton the next two years will mark years 18 and 19 with the 38-year-old chasing a record-breaking eighth F1 World title.
Russell says his teammate’s renewed commitment to Mercedes, who have struggled in the past two seasons with just one win in 36 races, is a “huge vote of confidence” for everyone at the team.
“Lewis is the biggest name in the sport and he’s still hungry,” said Russell to media in Monza, including PlanetF1.com.
“Obviously, as a team, we’re going through a bit of a difficult period. And obviously, I believe in the team, Toto believes in the team and everyone there but Lewis, he’s achieved so much he doesn’t need to continue, but he clearly believes as well that the team has got unfinished business.
“So that’s a huge vote of confidence for everybody who works at the team. So definitely happy to continue together.”