After months of rumours, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have finally signed a new contract with the Brit sticking with his team for 2021.
With just over a month before pre-season testing gets underway, Hamilton’s contract negotiations with Mercedes were rumbling on, leading to speculation as to the hold up.
It was eventually resolved on Monday with Mercedes announcing that the Brit had committed to the team for the 2021 season, but just the one season.
Hamilton has won six of his seven Drivers’ titles with the team.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes team-mates,” Hamilton said in a Mercedes statement.
“Our team has achieved incredible things together and we look forward to building on our success even further, while continuously looking to improve, both on and off the track.
“I’m equally determined to continue the journey we started to make motorsport more diverse for future generations and I am grateful that Mercedes has been extremely supportive of my call to address this issue.
“I’m proud to say we are taking that effort further this year by launching a foundation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the sport. I am inspired by all that we can build together and can’t wait to get back on the track in March.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 8, 2021
Hamilton has won 74 of his 95 race wins with the Brackley squad and last year equalled Michael Schumacher’s record for the most World titles, seven.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says he never doubted a new deal would be agreed.
“We have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue, but the very unusual year we had in 2020 meant it took some time to finish the process,” he said.
“Together, we have decided to extend the sporting relationship for another season and to begin a longer-term project to take the next step in our shared commitment to greater diversity within our sport.
“Lewis’s competitive record stands alongside the best the sports world has ever seen, and he is a valued ambassador for our brand and our partners.
“The story of Mercedes and Lewis has written itself into the history books of our sport over the past eight seasons, and we are hungry to compete and to add more chapters to it.”
Hamilton will partner Valtteri Bottas in the 2021 championship.