Wolff says Hamilton’s continued leadership crucial to Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton brings leadership qualities that are “crucial” to Mercedes’ hopes of fighting for future Formula 1 championships, according to team principal Toto Wolff, after confirming the team’s driver lineup through 2025.

Mercedes announced new contract extensions for Hamilton and teammate George Russell on Thursday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, with both drivers committed to the team for the next two seasons. Hamilton’s deal had been due to expire at the end of this year, but Wolff says he was always going to re-sign due to the central role he plays and the success the partnership has had in the past.

“Continuing with our current driver lineup was a straightforward decision,” Wolff said. “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 energizing for us all to be confirming that publicly. His qualities as a pure racing driver are illustrated by his remarkable track record; 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.”

For Russell, 2023 has been tougher than his debut season with Mercedes, but Wolff sees all of the qualities needed to evolve into a stronger driver at the age of just 25.

“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.”

Story originally appeared on Racer