`We had a number of options open to us and as always we want to make sure that we have the most competitive driver line-up and I think that Lewis and Heikki will be a formidable combination` affirmed Martin Whitmarsh. `Both enjoyed great rookie seasons in 2007 and share a genuine passion for winning and being the best. Heikki made a strong impression and Lewisâ€™ performance so far has been outstanding and speaks for itself. I am confident that they will push each other on track and work well together off track`.
Norbert Haug, the Vice President at Mercedes-Benz Motorsport said: `Heikki is a talented driver who showed his skills during his debut season in Formula 1 this year. Heikkiâ€™s most impressive performance was at the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji where he finished second behind Lewis in extremely treacherous wet conditions. He is not only a quick driver but also one of the most consistent having finished in every Grand Prix except the last which puts him in the top five together with our drivers who covered most laps in 2007. Everybody in the team is looking forward to a very fruitful co-operation. Lewis and Heikki will form one of the youngest driver line-ups, and I am convinced that both will be very strong and at the same time co-operative competitors`.
`I am so excited to join a team like Vodafone McLaren Mercedes` said Heikki. `So far I have been blown away by the dedication and commitment to winning which is clear through the entire organisation and I am really excited about our joint future. As a Finn itâ€™s an honour for me to follow in Mika and Kimiâ€™s footsteps. I havenâ€™t really spent a lot of time with Lewis so far but from what I know I think we will work well together and do our best for the team`.
`As soon as the chequered flag went in Brazil I began to count down the days until Australia` affirmed Lewis. `I am really looking forward to 2008 and working with Heikki as my team mate. Together with the team we will do everything we can to ensure that our Championship challenge is as strong and focused as possible. My first year in Formula 1 was incredible and I was so fortunate to spend it with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and I hope that Heikki will enjoy his first year with the team as much as I did mine`.
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