For a few weeks, rumors (or pious wishes) wanted Hamilton to leave Mercedes to go and try a last challenge at Ferrari or downright at Red Bull alongside Verstappen. Of course, nay! On the side of Mercedes, it was just indicated to be in negotiation with the seven-time world champion.
On the sidelines of the Monza Grand Prix this weekend, the team announces that it has signed a new two-year contract with Hamilton, and extended Russell’s for a year. If the contract goes to the end, Hamilton will therefore have spent 13 years (he is in the 11th year) with Mercedes. Hamilton, Russell and Mercedes are working hard to get back to the very top, it seemed odd to see HAM jump ship. Especially since he obtained that the concept tested for 2 seasons was going to be abandoned. It does not work optimally and prevents the pilots from fighting regularly for victory against a Verstappen and a Red Bull at the top.
As for Russell, he is a “baby Mercedes”. Incubated by the team, he was placed at Williams for a few years, chomping at the bit and waiting for Bottas to go into pre-retirement at Alfa Romeo. Since then, he continues to learn and if he showed very good things, he also showed some weaknesses. Enough not to be a number 1 right away.
Of course, Toto Wolff goes there with his laudatory verse when talking about the best pair of drivers on the board, with each driver playing a crucial role for the team. The choice was obvious to him to continue with these two. In the meantime, this weekend, in the temple of speed, we should still have Milton Keynes’ car in front of Brackley’s.