Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have signed a new one-year deal by which the British champion will remain in Mercedes throughout 2021, for the ninth consecutive season. The news was released this Monday by both the Brackley team and the Stevenage legend.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates. 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, said Lewis Hamilton.
“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.”
Toto Wolff, CEO & Team Principal
“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”, explained Mr Wolff.
A good deal for Hamilton & Mercedes
The long-awaited agreement has finally materialised with just one month remaining for the unveiling of this campaign’s black arrow; the W12.
From what the press has been able to gather, it seems that the crown defender would have had to lower his aspirations. Initially, Hamilton was hoping to close a three-year contract with a near 45 million euros per year paycheck attached to it.
What is now certain is that Hamilton has had to compromise o at least on the length of the contract, but for all we know, the team might have given in to his financial demands as a way of compensation..
Mercedes probably had a few more aces up its sleeve than the #44 at the negotiating table. If the Briton had rejected the offer, his only way out would have been retirement or a sabbatical.Considering he is one season away to break the seven-world title record (which he currently shares with Michael Schumacher), either option seemed unlikely.
Also, given his great wealth, a simple financial disagreement would have never been an obstacle to his chance of going down in history as the most successful driver of all times. He is well aware that his best, and perhaps only chance to achieve this is on board a Mercedes At the same time, it wouldn’t have been very wise for the German team to get rid of the man that has taken them to the top of Formula One.
George Russell, a risky choice
Perhaps he could have been hastily replaced by the inexperienced, albeit talented, George Russell, although that move would have been a very risky one. Taking the place of a seven-time champion would have put a lot of pressure on the young Briton.
Although Russell currently belongs to Williams, he is within Mercedes and Toto Wolff’s orbit and so he would have been readily available but it certainly wouldn’t have been the safest of choices.
All in all, and given the circumstances, both parties have reason to be satisfied with the agreement. The negotiation, which has been going for much longer than anticipated, has thus come to a happy ending and with it the many rumours surrounding the disagreements between the two parties.
Images of Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes AMG F1.