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Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes 'owe Hamilton everything' – F1 presenter

Mercedes "owe" Lewis Hamilton a great deal for everything he's done for the side, according to Sky F1 presenter Simon Lazenby.

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With Lewis Hamilton announcing his 2025 move to Ferrari before the start of the 2024 season, it's already been discussed how Mercedes will treat the seven-time World Champion.

2024 will be Hamilton's 12th and final season with Mercedes, a side he's won six Drivers' Championships with since completing his shock move to the outfit from McLaren for the 2013 season.

The 39-year-old has revolutionised Mercedes and is largely responsible for all their success since the introduction of the hybrid era in 2014. In fact, Hamilton and the Silver Arrows are the most successful partnership in the history of F1.

Hamilton has won a staggering 82 races whilst driving for the Brackley-based outfit, making up 65.6% of the team's overall victories in the pinnacle of motorsport. In Lazenby's eyes, the German manufacturer owe the Stevenage-born driver "everything", with Hamilton deserving to receive as much respect as normal this year from the squad.

Even though he is leaving Mercedes at the conclusion of the upcoming campaign, Lazenby sees this year as business as usual for Hamilton, especially if the team's W15 has the potential to fight for victories and maybe even the championship.

Naturally, Mercedes will presumably start to favour George Russell in mid-2024, as he'll be with the team next year. However, Lazenby is unsure if this'll be possible should Hamilton be in contention for an eighth Drivers' Championship.

Title challenge the 'key'

"I think the thing is with Lewis, it's an exceptional case, isn't it?" Lazenby said on the Sky F1 podcast. "At the end of the day, it's Lewis. And Lewis has brought everything to Mercedes.

"Therefore, they kind of do owe him a little bit. I think they owe him everything really. And they probably owe him the respect that he deserves to treat him like the great champion that he is for the time that he has remaining at Mercedes."

Lazenby added: "I don't think it's going to be emotion, I don't think it's going to be anything to do with that. It's about he'll get through the season, he'll know early on whether he's got a car to compete for the championship and I think that could be the key. If he does, they'll have to rally round whoever's the best driver again."

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