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Mercedes 'OWE' Hamilton insists Sky Sports F1 pundit

Mercedes 'OWE' Hamilton insists Sky Sports F1 pundit

Mercedes 'OWE' Hamilton insists Sky Sports F1 pundit

GPFans Staff
Mercedes 'OWE' Hamilton insists Sky Sports F1 pundit

Sky Sports F1 presenter Simon Lazenby feels Mercedes owe everything to Lewis Hamilton before he departs for Ferrari in 2025.

Hamilton and Mercedes have enjoyed a stellar 11-year partnership, winning six drivers' championships and eight constructors' championships together.

But the run of titles stopped in 2022 when Red Bull and Max Verstappen won both the drivers and constructors titles. Hamilton has also not won a race since taking a dramatic victory at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The partnership is set to end with Hamilton leaving at the end of 2024 to join Ferrari for 2025, replacing Carlos Sainz, who is now out of a drive.

Sainz is one of the favourites to replace Hamilton at Mercedes, with Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, and Formula 2 rookie and Mercedes junior Kimi Antonelli also in the running for the Brit's seat.

Lewis Hamilton has got plenty of miles under his belt in pre-season testing
The Brit's move to Ferrari sees him sign a multi-year deal with the team
Hamilton's future teammate Monegasque Charles Leclerc has been Ferrari's team leader since 2021

READ MORE: Drive to Survive F1 GOLD: Best bits from every single season so far

Lazenby: Hamilton brought everything to Mercedes

Although the Hamilton and Mercedes relationship will be regarded as one of the sport’s most successful, one accolade continues to allude to them.

The accolade in question is helping Hamilton achieve a record-breaking eighth world championship, his seventh with Mercedes.

Hamilton was one lap away from winning his eighth world title after leading the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP comfortably from the start. However, a controversial decision to restart the race left the Brit on used tyres and vulnerable to attacks from title rival Verstappen.

At the restart, Verstappen, who had stopped for fresh rubber during the safety car, made a bold lunge into Turn 5 on the last lap of the race, helping him secure his first world title.

"I think the thing is with Lewis, it's an exceptional case, isn't it?” explained Lazenby on Sky Sports F1’s 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.

"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 [how] 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."

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: F1 star pegs REASON for drain cover issues during testing

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