The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team has announced that it has extended the contract with Lewis Hamilton with the seven-time reigning world champion signing a one-year contract with the team for 2021.
It has been an unusual situation for the world champion and the reigning world champion team that they have not extended their existing contract with just a few weeks before the pre-season gets underways in Bahrain. However, the wait and the uncertainty are finally over as Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have agreed a new contract which will see the seven-time world champion compete for the Ango-German outfit in the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The 36-year-old made his F1 debut with the Mercedes-powered McLaren team in 2007 and secured his first world championship title in the following year in dramatic fashion. He left McLaren at the end of the 2012 season to join the Mercedes works team with which he has added a further six world titles as the German manufacturer started to dominate the sport with the introduction of the hybrid power units in 2014.
The Brackley-based outfit insisted in its announcement that a significant part of the new agreement builds upon the joint commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in motorsport that was made last year by Hamilton and Mercedes. „This will take the form of a joint charitable foundation, which will have the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport,” read the statement.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates”, added Hamilton. "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,” concluded the Briton.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO and Team Principal Toto Wolff said: “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. 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.”