Lewis Hamilton has finally signed his new Mercedes contract to formally confirm his place on the Formula 1 grid for a 2021 season when he will aim for a record eighth world title.
More than a month after his previous deal expired, Mercedes confirmed seven-time champion Hamilton had agreed terms to stay on – although, in contrast to past deals, a contract for just a single season was announced.
Hamilton, who turned 36 in January, has previously signed agreements of at least two years in F1.
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Notably, the deal includes a commitment from both sides to create a joint charitable foundation, which Mercedes say “will have the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport”.
Hamilton launched his own commission to look into the reasons for under-representation for those from minority backgrounds in motorsport last year, while Mercedes have pledged to improve the diversity of their own team.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes team-mates,” said Hamilton, who joined the Brackley team in 2013 and has won six of the past seven F1 world titles to rewrite the sport’s record books.
✍️ #AnnounceLewis pic.twitter.com/EFoDLGLDIl
“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.”
Toto Wolff, the team’s co-owner and principal who agreed his own new deal before Christmas to stay the latter role, has formed a hugely successful partnership with Hamilton and said “we are hungry to compete and to add more chapters” to the Briton’s time at Mercedes.
“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,” said Wolff.
Lewis & Mercedes agree a new deal but it’s only for 1 year Which means that the contracts for both Lewis & Valtteri run out at the end of this season as does George’s at Williams. 3 drivers chasing 2 seats at Merc & all out of contract. You could argue that’s a smart move by Toto
“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.”
More to follow…
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