After months of deliberation and delay, Sir Lewis Hamilton has finally signed a new deal to race for an eight world title at Mercedes. The news was confirmed by the all-conquering team on Monday morning.
It is believed that Hamilton, 36, was compelled to compromise on his original pay demands of £40million a year given the financial climate and his lack of alternative seats.
A statement read: ‘The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is pleased to announce that the reigning Formula One World Constructors’ Champion and the reigning F1 World Drivers’ Champion will continue together in 2021.
‘The Mercedes works team and Lewis agreed a new contract which will see one of the sport’s most successful ever collaborations continue for a ninth consecutive season.
‘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 Lewis 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.’
Hamilton is chasing the eighth championship success, and seventh with his current team, that would put him ahead of every other driver in history, including Michael Schumacher, the Ferrari legend who won seven titles in the Nineties and early years of this century.
The 36-year-old joined Mercedes in 2013 and has since gone on to win 74 Grands Prix races as well as six Drivers’ Championships.
‘I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes team-mates,’ Hamilton said.
Mercedes are unveiling their new car for the 2021 season on March 2 and told fans that both of their drivers would be in place before the unveiling. On Monday they finally revealed their 2021 pairing with a one-year agreement struck with Hamilton.