While no one is fooled and everyone expected Lewis Hamilton to renew his contract with Mercedes, nothing was signed yet. Now it’s done, at least for a year!
Sir Lewis Hamilton finally took a pen to scribble a little signature at the bottom of a contract. This puts an end to months of speculation about its future and allows the Formula 1 grid to be completed for the 2021 season. Deal means Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team to retain multi-successful driver duo Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, while they are on the hunt for an eighth consecutive constructor championship. It will also give Hamilton his best chance to break Michael Schumacher’s record for the number of world championships. Record that we thought was already unrivaled, but it’s done!
The one-year deal includes a larger commitment from Mercedes to Hamilton, which spans various projects and will see the formation of a joint charity between the German automaker and the Stevenage native. However, it is believed that the agreement is a compromise between the two parties. Indeed, for both of them it is quite unusual to start the new year without a signed contract. Hamilton was rumored to have been pushing for a two- or three-year engagement, but Mercedes was unwilling to comply with his wishes. The reason, an economic slowdown and the arrival of a restrictive ceiling on budgets.
Sir Lewis, always “Mr. Mercedes”
There had also been rumors that Mercedes was not happy with some of Hamilton’s demands. For example, the one that gave him veto rights over the selection of his teammates from 2022. But since his contract only lasts a year, such restrictions do not appear to have been enforced.
Toto Wolff played down rumors the delay was due to the legal battle between lawyers for Lewis and Mercedes. “We have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue, but the very unusual year we had in 2020 took some time to complete the process.”Wolff said upon signing. “Lewis’ record is among the best statistics the motorsport world has ever seen, and he is a valuable ambassador for our brand and our partners,” he adds.
Hamilton, who became a flagship ambassador for diversity in sports in 2020, is pleased to have Mercedes support and commitment to a goal of diversification. Speaking of the announcement of his renewal, Hamilton said: “I am also determined to continue the journey we have 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.”