Toto Wolff makes bold statement after Hamilton and Russell sign new deals

Oliver Harden
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton smiling in pre-season photo call. Bahrain February 2023

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton smiling in pre-season photo call. Bahrain February 2023

Toto Wolff has declared that Mercedes have the best driver pairing in F1 after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both committed their futures to the team.

Hamilton’s future has been the subject of speculation throughout the 2023 season, with rumours earlier this year linking the seven-time World Champion with a sensational move to Ferrari.

However, Mercedes announced on Thursday that the 38-year-old will remain with the team until the end of 2025 season with team-mate Russell, who joined the team at the start of 2022, extending his stay too.

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Mercedes have been been limited to just a single race win since F1’s ground effect regulations were implemented last year, with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen winning 36 of the last 57 races to emerge as the dominant driver of his era.

Yet with both Hamilton and Russell staying put, team boss Wolff is convinced Mercedes have the best partnership in the pit lane when it comes to driving talent.

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. recommends

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“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.”

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