© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team
As a logical continuation of the partnership with Mercedes-AMG, IWC became the “Official Engineering Partner” of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team in 2013. The partnership is founded on the mutual passion for mechanical engineering and a shared commitment to excellence. Both partners are also dedicated to integrating more sustainable practices into their operations. Over the years, the partners have collaborated on various special edition watches and organized different events. A special highlight was the launch of the first official team watch, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team”, in May 2022. In the same year, IWC and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1™ team announced a multi-year extension of their partnership. At the same time, IWC became a sponsor of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team.
IWC also enjoys a close relationship with Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team Drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Born in Stevenage, England, in 1985, Hamilton first climbed into a kart aged eight and hasn’t looked back since. His incredible pace and prodigious talent has seen him scale the career ladder at lightning speed. After winning the McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future series, he enrolled in the team’s Young Driver Programme in 1997. He joined British Formula Renault in 2001, winning the title two years later, before moving to the Formula 3 Euro Series, where he was crowned junior champion whilst still in his second year. Promotion to GP2 saw rookie Hamilton dominate the 2006 Championship. It was a feat that secured him entry to Formula One™ racing in 2007, as he made his Grand Prix™ debut for McLaren at just 22. The season was a spectacular success, and Hamilton remained in title contention up until the finale. In 2008 he won it, becoming the youngest ever Formula One™ World Champion. Four years later, in 2013, the Briton joined the works Mercedes team after six seasons with McLaren, finishing the year fourth. In 2014 he claimed the drivers’ crown for a second time, after taking 11 victories, matched with a third title in 2015. The following season brought Hamilton another 10 wins. In 2017 the Drivers’ Championship was his again; a triumph he also matched in 2018 and 2019. Hamilton’s career reached even greater heights in 2020, as he broke numerous records, including surpassing Michael Schumacher’s number of Grands Prix™ wins before matching the German’s tally of titles with a seventh Drivers’ Championship.
Lewis became an IWC ambassador in 2013 and the Swiss Manufacture launched the first of several special editions dedicated to him in 2014: The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition Lewis Hamilton (Ref: IW379602) in a titanium case limited to 250 pieces. The accompanying campaign saw the British driver use his watch to stop time and halt the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow W196 in its tracks.
The following year, IWC congratulated Lewis on winning a fifth FIA Formula One™ World Drivers’ Championship title with a special IWC Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Perpetual Calendar “Boutique Edition” (Ref: IW502903). A year later, in 2019, IWC presented the “Lewis Hamilton” Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition (Ref. IW503002) co-created by IWC’s designers and Hamilton himself. That same year, the Briton starred in IWC’s thrilling Spitfire collection campaign movie. The film featured Hamilton driving the iconic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow W125 around Goodwood with a Spitfire aircraft flying above. For the 2020 season, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team changed to an all-black livery as part of their commitment to the fight for greater diversity and inclusion. Hamilton also raced in black overalls, boots, gloves and a revised helmet design. IWC custom-designed the IWC Black ceramic Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar for Hamilton to show support.
In 2021, Hamilton featured in a new global advertising campaign for IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch, which tracked his evolution from a ‘driver of the fastest cars’ to a ‘driver of change’. The stunning imagery, shot by British photographer Misan Harriman, captured Hamilton’s passion for raising awareness of social injustices. In the same year, Hamilton was awarded the Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year Award at the 22nd edition of the Laureus World Sports Awards for his work in broadening opportunities to people from diverse backgrounds, in his sport and outside of it.
Listen to our podcast episode with Lewis Hamilton here.
Born in Kings Lynn, England, in 1998, Russell began his racing career in karting in 2006. Over the next eight seasons, he became MSA British Cadet Champion, British Open Champion, Super One British Champion, Formula Kart Stars British Champion, and CIK-FIA European Junior Champion, to name just a few. In 2014, he graduated to single-seater racing, claiming the BRDC Formula 4 Championship title at the first attempt, as well as numerous podiums in the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS Championship. The following year, he switched to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship™ for the next two seasons, finishing 2016 in third after claiming two wins. In 2017, he joined the junior driver programme of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and competed in the GP3 Series for ART Grand Prix, taking four victories, seven podiums and four pole positions on his way to winning the Driver’s Championship.
In 2018, he stepped up to Formula Two™, again with ART Grand Prix, winning the championship alongside his role as Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Reserve Driver. The following year he made it to the Formula One™ grid, joining Williams Racing on a multi-year deal. A difficult debut season was followed by an excellent 2020 that saw Russell regularly almost finish in the points for the British team. At that year’s Sakhir event, he was drafted in to replace an ill Hamilton and put in a star turn, missing out on pole by just 0.026s and narrowly missing out on victory. He continued to drive for Williams in 2021, earning his first points for the team at the Hungarian Grand Prix™, before qualifying second and claiming his first Formula One™ podium finish at the Belgium event. In 2022 he embarked on a new career chapter, joining Hamilton at Mercedes.
Listen to our podcast episode with George Russell here.
THE 2023 FIA Formula One™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR:
March 03 - 05
March 17 - 19
March 31 - April 02
April 28 - 30
May 05 - 07
May 19 - 21
May 26 - 28
June 02 - 04
June 16 - 18
June 30 - July 02
July 07 - 09
July 21 - 23
July 28 - 30
August 25 - 27
September 01 - 03
September 15 - 17
September 22 - 24
October 06 - 08
October 20 - 22
October 27 - 29
November 03 - 05
November 16 - 18
November 24 - 26
Watch for the Team
IWC unveils the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team”. Learn more about the first official team watch here.
Ready for takeoff with George Russell
In the latest episode of #PartnersInTime, meet @georgerussell63, a young talented automotive racing driver from Great Britain who is looking forward to driving his first regular season as an official pilot of the @mercedesamgf1 team. Make sure to listen to this episode if you want to know which challenges Russell had to face, how he gets ready for a race and which has been his favorite car so far.
It’s Performance O’clock
AMG and IWC – three letters which embody a very special way of life and represent technical excellence, exclusivity, precision and passion for engineering throughout the world.