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Hamilton to race for Mercedes this year alongside Briton George Russell

Sir Lewis Hamilton admitted he spent time this winter considering his future in Formula 1, but will now be racing for Mercedes alongside a new teammate.

Sir Lewis Hamilton (Max Verstappen faded in the background)

Sir Lewis Hamilton is joined at Mercedes this year by fellow Briton George Russell, one of the brightest rising stars of the new generation of drivers.

Russell had spent the first three years of his career at Williams.

"We've all seen the photo of me and Lewis when I was 10 years old. We have both changed quite a lot since then. It's incredible to see.”

Russell said.

George Russell
"I was a young kid aspiring to reach F1 and he was world champion at the time, he was a super-hero to me. You see these incredible people and you don't think they're human.”

"Having the opportunity to race alongside Lewis is a real privilege for me. I have such a great opportunity to see how the best done it."

Wolff said he expected a tough battle between Hamilton and Russell but said he expected it would be conducted in good spirit.

Hamilton lost out on an eighth world title in controversial circumstances at last year's final race in Abu Dhabi.

He was leading in Abu Dhabi and on course for a record eighth world title when race director Michael Masi failed to operate the rules correctly during a late safety-car period.

Former Race Director Michael Masi

That resulted in Hamilton being passed by Red Bull's Max Verstappen on one final lap of racing after a restart.

The FIA has conducted an inquiry into what happened and on Thursday announced a series of changes to address it - including removing Masi as race director.

Speaking at the launch of Mercedes’ new car, Hamilton said he had retreated to the comfort of his family as he sought to process what had happened.

"I never said I was going to stop. But it was a difficult time for me and I really needed to step back,"

he said.

"Eventually I got to a point where I decided I was going to be attacking again coming into another season."

The new Mercedes car features very tightly packed bodywork, on which significant effort has clearly been made on securing the best possible airflow.

Mercedes have reverted to their traditional silver after two years of a black livery in support of diversity. (BBC Sport)


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