Mercedes until 2025 with Hamilton and Russell!
Even before driver PK, we got what might be the most important news of the day: Mercedes has extended the contracts of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell until 2025! The team has just officially confirmed this.
“Continuing with our current driver duo was an uncomplicated decision. We have the strongest driver duo in the field and both drivers play a crucial role in the team to push us forward,” confirms Toto Wolff.
He stressed, “The strength and stability they provide are important building blocks for our future success. Our partnership with Lewis is one of the most successful in the history of the sport. It has always been just a formality that we will continue together.”
“His qualities as a racing driver are shown by his impressive track record, but over the years we have spent together he has become one of the pillars and leader of our team,” said Wolff.
Wolfe explains that Russell is “one of the leading figures of his generation”, emphasizing: “As a driver, he combines blistering speed with the tenacity of a true fighter. But he also has the intelligence and attention to detail that will help him.” To continue to grow, develop and improve.”
“He fits in perfectly with the team and we are very pleased that we will continue our collaboration in the coming years,” said Wolff.
Monza is the toughest race for Verstappen?
At least that’s what Pierre Gasly believes, who explains: “This weekend could be the most difficult for Max.” As a reminder, the Dutchman has nine consecutive victories and could set a new record this weekend.
“Monza is a completely different track, you drive with very little air resistance,” he recalls. “A lot of accidents can happen in the first corner.” Plus, with DRS you can easily get stuck behind another car.
Gasly said of Verstappen: “I would be surprised if he managed to achieve a lead of 30 seconds, as is the case in some other circuits.” let’s see. But the truth is that Verstappen also won at Monza in 2022.
And this year Red Bull was actually better…
The car doesn’t just look different at Alfa Romeo this weekend. The racing suits have also been redesigned, and Guanyu Zhou also wears a special helmet. You can watch both here:
Norris admits: He sounded like an “idiot”.
It’s about his broadcast statements in Zandvoort, which you can read again here. After the race they talked about it. He now reveals and admits that he looked like an “idiot” during the radio traffic.
“But the people I talk to know that of course I would never take something like this seriously,” he explained, stressing: “We made some mistakes in our decisions and our strategy. And part of that is just emotions.”
He knows that on the radio he often sounds grumpy or dissatisfied. “I hate it,” he admits with a smile. The Briton explains that he is actually “really comfortable” in the car.
But sometimes it sounds completely different on the radio…
… We again have this weekend in our photo series for you. Click and check back often, as new screenshots are added regularly!
Photo Gallery: Formula 1 Technology: Detailed pictures of the 2023 Italian Grand Prix
Gasly: Podium in Zandvoort was ‘very important’
The Frenchman recently grabbed his first Alpine podium in the Netherlands, and reveals: “It was very important for a number of reasons.” Because earlier this year he had already lost many good results.
In Monaco he said he could have been on the podium with a better strategy, and in Australia a late red flag and subsequent crash cost him an earlier fifth place.
“We were very unlucky,” he says, adding that it was very frustrating. Now, after the summer break, we’ve got the best possible start to the second half of the year.
“I think this can give us a good push until the end of the year,” said Gasly, who also has fond memories of Monza. In 2020, he achieved his only Grand Prix win to date with Team AlphaTauri.
Time to withdraw!
PK is over (in part two too heavy for Hamilton). Here at the bar it goes on but of course! We will provide you with more information and sounds live from the paddock in Monza until the evening.
The contract was finalized over the weekend
A little side tip: Hamilton revealed that his contract was finalized last weekend – that is, as part of the Zandvoort race.
The Mercedes driver also jokes that there are other drivers in PK. Because so far all the questions of the journalists present have gone only to him…
Hamilton: Abu Dhabi 2021 was not important
The Briton is now being asked if the end of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi played a role in his decision. Is this precisely the open bill he still wants to settle?
Hamilton says there is no connection. What happened in the past cannot be changed. That did not play a role in his new contract and plans.
Hamilton: Actually, he hasn’t wanted to drive for a long time
In the past, the record holder has said he doesn’t want to drive Formula 1 until he’s 40. With his new contract, of course it’s done. Now he is being asked about it.
He explains that he didn’t expect to feel so good at his age and still love racing so much, he says. That was why he had changed his mind on the matter since then.
Hamilton on a new contract
“You all should bear with me a little longer,” joked the record-breaking champion, who was of course first asked about his new contract at the start of PK Part Two.
He explained, “I certainly wanted to continue,” stressing that he had no doubts. He still has some scores to settle with Mercedes, he makes it clear that their objective is clear.
What is meant, of course, is another global title. And Hamilton also knows that it won’t be easy to achieve that goal. But he still had a feeling that he could still get better.
And at the end of 2025, when his new contract expires, he will be almost 41 years old.
Hardly any exciting topics
Today is again one of those days when you have to ask the question if holding a press conference on Thursday really makes sense if there was still leadership the previous Sunday?
We really learn a lot of new things. For example, Leclerc has been asked 200 times how he feels when he talks to Ferrari about a new contract? His answer is the same 199 times before.
Other topics are, for example, Bottas’ off-track activities or Ferrari’s new outfit. Whether you have to do an extra PK for this, everyone has to decide for themselves…
Norris: One day Verstappen’s teammate?
We already posted a great article on this question today. Now Norris himself has been asked about that possibility in PK, and has made it clear he’s completely “open” to it.
It would be ‘cool’ to work with such a strong rider. He then joked that Verstappen could switch to McLaren at any time. Rumors are actually swirling about him moving to Red Bull…
Leclerc dreams of getting to the podium at home
Monegasse starts at PK, who made it clear before the Ferrari home match that he hopes Monza will be “a little more competitive” than the last time in Zandvoort or in Budapest before the summer break.
Because Monza “isn’t quite like Spa”, said Leclerc. But the two tracks aren’t that different, so he’s hoping he can fight for a podium this weekend. But first you have to wait.
What do the Mercedes drivers themselves say?
We’ll find out in a bit, because Hamilton is a guest on the driver’s PK, which starts in under 15 minutes, and Russell will be giving a media tour, which we’ll also report on. But our focus now is on the press conference.
As a reminder, here are the participating drivers:
Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
Lando Norris (McLaren)
Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
Oscar Biastri (McLaren)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Alexander Albon (Williams)
As always, the most important data is here in the bar!
Two cockpits are gone again
So Mercedes is also planning with Hamilton and Russell in the coming years. Means: Less likely Formula 1 cockpits for all other interested drivers. You can find out here which places are still available for 2024:
Photo gallery: Contract periods of current Formula 1 drivers
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