After months of negotiation and uncertainty, Lewis Hamilton has finally put pen to paper to sign a one-year contract extension with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Now the most successful F1 driver of all time, Hamilton says he is ‘excited’ to race with the world champion constructors once more and that he ‘can’t wait to get back to the track’ for Pre-season Testing in March.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates. 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”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was also elated about the deal, but took the time to address the rumours circulating around Hamilton’s future- stating that the Brackley-based outfit ‘have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue’ but that the unusual nature of the 2020 season meant ‘it took some time to finish the process.’
“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.”
Interestingly though, Hamilton’s contract only extends to the end of this season- hinting that the champ is imminently nearing retirement. With seven (possibly eight) titles in hand once the deal comes to an end, 2021 could make for a fitting year for Lewis to close the curtain on his glittering career in Formula 1.