Lewis Hamilton has finally put to paper on a new deal to keep him at Mercedes until the end of the 2025 season.
Hamilton’s contract with the Silver Arrows had been a major topic of speculation after the two parties failed to come to an agreement over the winter break, causing Hamilton to enter 2023 in the final year of his deal.
The seven-time World Champion’s stay at Brackley has now been extended with a deal keeping him at the team for a further two years.
Lewis Hamilton to stay with Mercedes
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 track. Our story isn’t finished, we are determined to achieve more together and we won’t stop until we do.”
Hamilton’s extension means he will surpass Michael Schumacher for the record number of most seasons spent with a single constructor, with every single one of his 323 grand prix starts to date powered by Mercedes engines.
At the conclusion of the 2023 season, Hamilton will equal the 11 seasons set by Schumacher at Ferrari and surpass that figure come the end of 2024.
Mercedes announced too that Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell will also remain with the team until the end of 2025, with team boss Toto Wolff thrilled to secure the seven-time World Champion’s signature.
He said: “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.”
Markus Schafer, Mercedes’ non-executive chairman, added: “Lewis has forged a relationship with Mercedes-Benz right from the start of his career. In that time, he has claimed seven World Drivers’ Championships, 103 race wins, 195 podium finishes and 104 pole positions.
“His ambition and commitment to winning are second to none. His boundless positivity and passion to push himself and team forward are a constant source of pride and inspiration for everyone connected to the team and the wider Mercedes-Benz group.
“We are excited to continue this journey with both drivers and look forward to sharing more success in the future. I know the whole team is motivated for the rest of the season and continuing to build momentum into 2024 and beyond.”
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes – A success story few saw coming
When Lewis Hamilton announced in October 2012 that he was to depart his long-time team and the historic outfit McLaren to join a relative newcomer in the form of Mercedes, there were plenty who wondered why the young Brit had chosen to throw his career away.
Many thought it was for the money, with Hamilton signing a £45 million three-year deal, but it soon became apparent that it was more than just a healthy bank balance that had convinced Hamilton to make the move.
Responsible for that convincing was the late Niki Lauda who in his role as non-executive chairman was part of the negotiations that brought Hamilton to Mercedes and sold him a dream of what was to come.
Paired with his former karting opponent Nico Rosberg, Hamilton would finish fourth in his first season with the Silver Arrows but it was in 2014 when everything changed.
Gone were the screaming V8 engines and in their place, turbo-charged power units and it was within the walls of Mercedes’ power unit factory in Brixworth that perfection had been created. The Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid 1.6 V6 t was an engine like no other, propelling Hamilton above his rivals and his own team-mate to Championship glory in 2014.
He made it three in 2015 before losing out in 2016 to the only man who could challenge him in those days: Rosberg.
Try as they might, other teams could not match the dominance of the Silver Arrows so when Rosberg retired in 2016 off the back of his title win, Hamilton was again free to sweep up every Championship going.
2017. 2018. 2019. 2020. The titles kept coming until Hamilton had broken almost every record in F1 history and drawn level with the legendary Schumacher for the most Drivers’ titles.
2021 would reset the chess board once again with Red Bull finally giving Max Verstappen a car that could challenge Mercedes’ stranglehold and the Dutchman and Hamilton would be key players in one of the most entertaining F1 seasons of all time, culminating in Hamilton losing out on a record-breaking eighth due to one of the most controversial moments in the sport’s history.
2022 signalled the start of a new era of frustration for Mercedes with the team not getting the most out of the chassis regulation changes, causing them to not just drop behind Red Bull but Ferrari as well.
For the first time since he joined Mercedes, Hamilton began to doubt the team’s ability to produce a championship-winning car but their improvement after a slow start to 2023 gave some hope that they were on their way back.
With rumours of a move to Ferrari squashed for good, Hamilton remains just as big a part of Mercedes’ future as he is of the team’s past.