The wait is finally over – Lewis Hamilton has signed with Mercedes for 2021 for a ninth season in a short-term contract after much negotiation with team principal, Toto Wolff and the Mercedes-Daimler management.
The seven-time world champion’s previous deal lapsed at the end of the 2020 Formula One season with many speculating on whether or not the Brit would resign, given the length of the negotiation period.
Hamilton equaled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles last year, in which five of those titles were racked up with his present team.
The 36-year-old said that he is excited to be heading into a ninth season with a team that’s “achieved incredible things.”
He further added that he will continue to further his efforts to make motorsport more diverse for future generations, with the instrumental support and backing from Mercedes as leaders in the industry.
“I’m proud to say we are taking the effort further this year by launching a foundation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the sport,” he added finally.
Toto Wolff clarified in his statement that Hamilton contracting the virus and the general situation globally was the reason negotiations were dragged out.
“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.”
The drivers are expected to commence pre-season testing in Bahrain from the 19th to the 21st of February, with the title fight commencing on the 26th of March with the Bahrain Grand Prix.