Mercedes signs new sponsor Ineos, awaiting Hamilton to commit

Tanya Simon
February 13, 2020

Wolff wants Hamilton in the Mercedes.

"It is the obvious pairing going forward", said Wolff.

Hamilton will attempt to equal Michael Schumacher's record of seven drivers' world titles this year while Mercedes are attempting to win a seventh straight constructors' championship.

"I think we were pretty close to Mercedes, as you can see, Brazil for example, the drag race between Pierre [Gasly] and Lewis".

"We travel around the world for nearly 10 months of the year and we get on each other's nerves nearly every second weekend, and what we do over the winter is leave each other in peace".

"I have great belief in the abilities of the team to attract the best drivers and Lewis has proven he is the best driver".

"It's a proud moment for INEOS to become principal partner to the world's best Formula 1 team, and by extension to one of the world's most prestigious brands, Mercedes-Benz", said Ratcliffe.

Lewis Hamilton's #44 Mercedes AMG Petronas auto besides the logo of the Chinese GP, the 1,000th race in F1, in Shanghai, China, April 14, 2019.

"In the medium to long term I would hope that we would be able to continue to provide the technology to the best drivers and attract them".

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"The Mercedes team is a leader in global sport and have consistently shown that they are at the forefront of technological innovation and human performance", said Ratcliffe, founder and chairman of British multinational chemicals company Ineos.

Hamilton has been at Mercedes since 2013, but a meeting with Ferrari president John Elkann a year ago led to speculation he might leave when new regulations are introduced in 2021.

"We like the Formula One platform but at the same time we are in negotiation with the rights" holder and things need to be sorted out.

"It is an ongoing process with a complicated set of contracts and that needs time".

Like Hamilton, Mercedes' future is also uncertain, with the German manufacturer yet to formally commit to the sport beyond this year. The devil is in the detail.

"Clearly, there is the will and the wish for all of the stakeholders to reach a conclusion before we embark on the 2021 season because that would be an uncomfortable situation".

The pair announced the new tie-up at an event at the Automobile Club in London, while Mercedes also unveiled its 2020 auto, which features INEOS branding.

Meanwhile, Mercedes' archrival Ferrari later on Tuesday will release its 2020 contender, Ferrari SF1000 auto.

The Silver Arrows boss says it would be a "shame" if F1 missed out on going to China this season, but admits that the health and wellbeing of the drivers, engineers, fans, and everyone in attendance is paramount.

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