Mercedes has announced that Sir Lewis Hamilton has signed a one-year contract extension with the Brackley-based team.
All of Hamilton’s previous Mercedes deals were multi-year contracts, and it’s unclear if the recently inked deal includes an option for another year, as was reported last week.
This latest deal includes a commitment from the seven-time World Champion and Mercedes to jointly launch a charitable foundation, which, according to Mercedes, “will have the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport.”
Commenting on his renewed partnership with Mercedes, Hamilton said he is excited to race with the Silver Arrows again this upcoming season.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates,” Hamilton said on Monday.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mercedes team principal and shareholder Toto Wolff hailed their renewed partnership, both on and off the track.
“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,” Wolff 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,” the Austrian concluded.
Sir Lewis Hamilton joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013, and he has since won six World Championships in addition to his 2008 F1 crown.
His contract with the Silver Arrows expired at the end of 2020, but Mercedes remained certain that the Brit would still be racing with them in 2021.
Last month, a Mercedes source told Formula1News.co.uk that Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be their drivers in 2021.
“Any suggestion that Lewis won’t be with us this year is simply fake news. Plain and simple,” the source told Formula1News.co.uk in January.
“There is no reason he and Valtteri won’t be driving our cars in 2021. You can consider it confirmed,” he added.
The same source later said we can expect a deal to be finalised and announced in February.
“Lewis’ future here was never in doubt. It’s just a question of time. I’m confident it will be wrapped up and announced sometime in Feb.”