Mercedes Owes Hamilton for Years of Success, Says Lazenby

Hamilton is poised to embark on his 12th and final year with Mercedes, a team with which he has clinched six Drivers’ Championships since his surprising transition from McLaren in 2013.

At 39, Hamilton has been instrumental in propelling Mercedes to the forefront, playing a pivotal role in their dominance since the hybrid era began in 2014. Indeed, the alliance between Hamilton and the Silver Arrows is the most triumphant in F1 history.

Hamilton has helped the Brackley-based team secure 8 Constructors’ Championships in a row, with the Brit claiming 82 victories in that period despite not winning a race for the last two years

According to Simon Lazenby, Mercedes is deeply indebted to Hamilton for his contributions and believes he should continue to be treated with the utmost respect this season.

Despite his impending departure from Mercedes after the season, Lazenby views this year as a typical one for Hamilton, particularly if the W15 car is competitive enough to vie for wins and potentially the championship.

It’s anticipated that Mercedes will gradually shift their support towards George Russell in the latter half of 2024, considering his future with the team. Yet, Lazenby questions whether this shift will materialize if Hamilton is vying for his eighth Drivers’ Championship.

Lazenby speaking on the Sky F1 podcast commented: “I think the thing is with Lewis, it’s an exceptional case, isn’t it? 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 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.”