Mercedes confirms Hamilton re-signing
Monday 8th February, 2021 - 10:08pm
Mercedes has confirmed seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has signed on for a ninth season with the Silver Arrows.
Hamilton’s long-awaited re-signing comes less than a month out from the team’s launch of the W12.
The contract extension will take him through to the end of the 2021 season and challenge for a record eighth Formula 1 drivers’ championship.
Following lengthy negotiations between the two parties, the pair have agreed to terms for the forthcoming season which includes a new initiative between them.
A collaborative charitable foundation will be launched with a mission of ‘supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all forms of motorsport’.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes team-mates,” said 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.”
Speaking of the new initiative, Hamilton said he was eager to continue his philanthropic ventures off track.
Last year Mercedes painted its W11 in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, a colour scheme that is expected to be retained in 2021.
“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,” Hamilton added.
“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.”
Hamilton has brought Mercedes the lion’s share of its recent success, winning six of his seven championships with the Brackley-based outfit.
His first championship crown with McLaren was also powered by Mercedes in 2008.
All 95 of his grand prix wins to date have been Mercedes powered, 74 of those coming with the factory team.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said he had little doubt the parties would re-sign, noting a tumultuous 2020 for the delay in today’s announcement.
“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.
“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.”
Pre-season testing will take place at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12-14 before the season opener at the same venue on March 26-28.