Lewis Hamilton, George Russell concur that it was no-brainer but to continue with Mercedes after signing a new multi-year deal.

While it was not a huge surprise but Mercedes officially confirmed a contract extension for both Hamilton and Russell after they signed a new multi-year F1 deal that will see them stay with the German manufacturer for two more seasons to come.

The focus was largely on Hamilton considering he only had a deal until the end of 2023 and his continuation was the talking point. He was open about extending and he eventually did so last weekend after firming it up and signed it this week.

On Russell’s side, it was already signed earlier in the year as there was no big dramas from his side to continue on. Additionally, he reckons Hamilton continuing is an important factor not just for the team but everyone involved considering the belief he has to win again.

Always was the call to continue –

Hamilton: “Honestly, I couldn’t be happier to be extending with this team. We’ve had such an incredible journey together. I mean, Mercedes have supported me since I was 13. So such a long trip. And we still have unfinished business. So, we are in this together, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get ourselves back to the front, but there’s no place I’d rather be. I definitely wanted to continue. I mean, I think in life, there’s always… When you have up and downs, like last year was a difficult year, I’m pretty sure everyone was questioning whether they wanted to continue, because it’s just tough at the top.

“And it’s such a tough sport. But that feeling, that thought, quickly goes away and you put your work, you put your mind and your energy into being the best you can be and dealing with the situations that you’re faced with. And so I’m really proud of what we achieved last year to get through it. And then while we started on the wrong foot this year to have had some really great results, we’re second in the Constructors’ Championship, and the plan is to keep that and then close the gap to the guy ahead.”

When deal done and his decision –

Hamilton: “Contract-wise, we got it done this week. Actually, the stuff was finished last week, last weekend. I’m not working towards next year thinking that it’s going to take another four years to get to where we need to be, but I’m aware that it does take time. Of course, in my heart, I’m so hopeful that the decisions we are taking and the direction that we’re rolling towards is that which will put us in in that target zone, to be able to fight the Bulls and be close and be challenging for pole. But if it’s not next year, we’ll continue to work through it. But in my heart, I truly believe that if it’s not next year, it’s the year after we will be there.”

Deal done in how much time and no-brainer –

Russell: “I don’t think it took more than two hours worth of conversations, just one evening before dinner and signed earlier this year. It was never in doubt either way, so it was never really a concern for me. It feels like we’re married to one another, I’ve been part of this team since I was 17 years old as a driver in Formula 3. Toto made it very clear: ‘Win F3 you’ll get to F2. Win in F2, you’ll get a drive in F1. Do a good job with Williams and you’ll be in a Mercedes’. And if you’re in a Mercedes, you’ve got a good job of winning championships. It was pretty straightforward in that regard. I think that consistency is so important to build upon. We’re in that cycle at the moment of getting back to the top. So I’m very proud to continue with the team, this is just the beginning.”

Important for both to continue –

Russell: “I think it is extremely important to continue with the two of us with the relationship we have had because you sometimes see when there is a change of driver pairing the dynamic shifts slightly and it kind of end up upset few things internally and we know that we have never had any issues in that regard whatsoever. There is a healthy competition that’s been there since Day 1, but we are pushing one another in the same direction, we have got similar feedback with regards to the car which also helps the designers pushing in one direction, but I think also for me to see Lewis continuing is so important that shows the belief he’s got in the team as well. I have got the belief in the team but this is a guy who has won 100 races and he doesn’t need to continue, he could happily hang his boots up with everything he has achieved but he wouldn’t stay if he didn’t believe if the team wasn’t capable of winning again. So, that reinforces the confidence that I had in the team but it is definitely a boost for everybody back at the factory and all of the partners and everybody to see that Lewis still wants to continue and believes in the team.”

Rival talks –

Lando Norris: “It’s great. It’s always been a pleasure to race against him. Even this year we’ve had a few more battles and that’s a cool thing. To have raced against someone who’s one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1, who’s created a lot of history, written a lot of history. I think it’s a… I guess a pleasure for all of us, someone I looked up to when I was a little kid and still get the chance to race against him now. So, I’m happy and will continue to do so for a couple more years.”

Valtteri Bottas: “Actually, not really. He really seems to enjoy racing still. He’s still go the fire to get back up there again, so not really surprised.”

Max Verstappen: “Yeah, I mean for sure it is good for the sport and at the end of the day, it is good for himself and Mercedes because they have already been teamed-up for a long time and for them to continue the partnership is of course great. With the battles we have to wait and see what happens between the teams and how everyone is going to perform next year as well.”

Fernando Alonso: “Yeah, absolutely. I think that shows his commitment, his love for racing and as you said he didn’t take a break (like me and Kimi Raikkonen), it is good to have him for two more years. He is one of the greatest of the sport and as long as he is in the sport, it is a benefit for the sport in general and for everyone. I hope he stays more than 2025.”

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