Lewis Hamilton has extended his contract with Mercedes for another two years, until the end of 2023. Since joining the British-based German team from McLaren in 2012, the 36-year-old Briton has won six of his seven world titles.
This season, Hamilton is vying for a record-breaking eighth title, but he is currently trailing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“We still have a lot to achieve, both on and off the track,” said Hamilton.
It is the earliest he has agreed to a new contract with Mercedes in several years, and it will extend his stay at the team for at least 11 seasons, through the start of a major rule change next year.
In contrast to 2020, when the pandemic, a compressed season, and both Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff contracting coronavirus delayed talks, Hamilton finished the year out of contract.
Hamilton did not sign a new one-year contract extension with the team until February of this year, but he has stated since the start of the season that he intends to stay in F1 beyond this year, and began discussing the terms of his new contract with Wolff in May. The pair completed a deal in two months, demonstrating their desire to continue working together.
Contrary to popular belief, Hamilton has not taken a pay cut. After a salary adjustment due to the pandemic this season, his earnings will be back to pre-Covid levels, when he was said to be earning up to £40 million per year.
The team’s bond with their driver has been strengthened by their support for his push for greater diversity and inclusion in the sport, which gained traction in the midst of the global outcry following the death of unarmed African-American George Floyd by US police last May.
Hamilton said: “I’m incredibly proud and grateful of how Mercedes has supported me in my drive to improve diversity and equality in our sport.
“They have held themselves accountable and made important strides in creating a more diverse team and inclusive environment.”
Wolff said: “As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022 onwards, there can be no better driver to have in our team than Lewis.
“His achievements in this sport speak for themselves, and with his experience, speed and race-craft, he is at the peak of his powers.
“We are relishing the battle we have on our hands this year – and that’s why we also wanted to agree this contract early, so we have no distractions from the competition on track.
“I have always said that as long as Lewis still possesses the fire for racing, he can continue as long as he wants.”