Hamilton signs new two-year contract with Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will continue their immensely successful partnership in Formula 1 beyond this season, with the reigning seven-time world champion signing a two-year contract that will keep him in F1 with the Silver Arrows until at least the end of 2023.
It is the second contract Hamilton has done with Mercedes in six months, the Briton only putting pen to paper on his current one-year term a few weeks before pre-season testing began.
Both Hamilton and Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff were keen to avoid the contract saga dragging on again, so began talks much earlier and they were concluded within weeks before being announced on Saturday morning of the Austrian Grand Prix.
It means Hamilton will be just one week short of 39 years old when his new deal ends, having extended his stay at the Silver Arrows – with whom he’s won six of his seven titles – to 11 years.
“It is hard to believe it’s been nearly nine years working with this incredible team and I’m excited we’re going to continue our partnership for two more years,” said Hamilton.
“We’ve accomplished so much together but we still have a lot to achieve, both on and off the track. 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.
“Thank you to all the dedicated and talented individuals at Mercedes whose hard work makes it all possible and the Board for their continued trust in me. We’re entering a new era of car which will be challenging and exciting and I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve together.”
Wolff added: “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.”
As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022 onwards, there can be no better driver to have in our team than Lewis.Toto Wolff on Hamilton’s new deal
“This is fantastic news for Formula 1 and I am delighted that Lewis will stay in Formula 1 for at least another two years,” added F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“What he has achieved in this sport is incredible and I know he has more to come. He is a global superstar on and off the race track and his positive impact on Formula 1 is huge.”
The identity of Hamilton’s team mate remains unclear, but it is believed to be a call between incumbent Valtteri Bottas – who has been with the team since 2017 – and Mercedes junior George Russell, who has impressed with his performances at Williams.
Lewis Hamilton excited by future as he signs new two-year Mercedes deal
- World champion sticks with team until end of 2023 season
- Toto Wolff reveals retirement was discussed in negotiations
Lewis Hamilton has signed a new contract with Mercedes, committing to race on in Formula One for a further two years. The new deal, which was announced before qualifying for today’s Austrian Grand Prix, is a remarkable statement of intent from the Briton, whose future had been the subject of intense speculation.
The 36-year-old, who has won seven world championships, will remain in the sport until at least 2023, having made his F1 debut in 2007. He joined Mercedes in 2013 and has won six of his seven titles with them. His last contract negotiations went on through the winter of 2020 and 2021 and he and the team were eager to avoid another long period of uncertainty in order to focus on the challenge they face from Red Bull this season.
With the new contract he has committed to race on through the major regulation changes set to be brought in next season. It is viewed as a complete reboot for the sport and the start of a brand new challenge for Hamilton, with a wave of younger drivers also coming through.
He said he had considered his position and decided he had lost none of his motivation. “It’s important we take time to evaluate, that we do what’s right for us in terms of health and mental wellbeing,” he said. “It’s always a good time to try and reflect and see what is next. I found myself waking up and thinking about racing and I wanted to continue to race.”
He also noted the role Mercedes’s backing of his push for equality and diversity had played. “The support they have given me during this period with Black Lives Matter, turning our car black for the second year in a row, for really pushing for a more diverse and equitable environment, it’s just amazing,” he said.
Hamilton has interests in fashion and music outside the sport and has been clear that he wants to pursue them when he retires. Equally, however, he is in the form of his life and has repeatedly stated how much he still enjoys racing. This season he is in a proper title race with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who is only 23 and leads by 18 points. Hamilton clearly relishes the challenge of continuing to vie with F1’s younger generation. He said: “Now we are having this tight battle it has brought me closer to the team, it’s making me dig deeper and I love that, it has reinvigorated the love that I have for the sport.”
The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, who also joined the team in 2013, welcomed finalising the new contract so his driver and team can focus on racing, and in Austria revealed they had discussed his retirement when working through the contract negotiations.
“He knows pretty well how he feels about racing,” said Wolff. “That passion burns strongly. In a way the tough championship has ignited even more fun with us to fight and next year looks really exciting. We talked about retirement and it’s always really important to have that flirt with retirement but equally be in control of your own destiny. I think at this stage there is so much passion for the sport that I can see him going for a while.”
Wolff, who is now a close friend of Hamilton, believed he was spurred on to continue by a burning desire to improve. “His motivation to continue is just the will to win and succeed,” he said. “Especially in times when new regulations come and to be the best himself. Not necessarily looking at the other drivers or the next generation, just about meeting his own expectations in the same way we want to meet our own expectations.”
Hamilton’s decision is also of major import for F1 with the world champion being by far its most globally recognised star. Hamilton has 22.8m followers on Instagram and 6.4m on Twitter. He has been publicly outspoken on equality and diversity in recent years and has been key in encouraging F1’s effort to improve in both areas.
“I am delighted that Lewis will stay In F1 for at least another two years,” said the sport’s chief executive, Stefano Domenicali. “What he has achieved in this sport is incredible and I know he has more to come. He is a global superstar on and off the race track and his positive impact on Formula One is huge.”
Speculation remains over who will partner Hamilton at Mercedes next year. His current teammate, Valtteri Bottas, is on a one-year contract and is having a disappointing season. Williams’s George Russell, the British driver who is a Mercedes junior, is the prime candidate to replace the Finn. Wolff confirmed it was between the two drivers, with a decision expected over the summer.
#8 Lewis Hamilton
2021 The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes Earnings
- Lewis Hamilton won the Formula 1 title in 2020, equaling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven championships.
- In February 2021, he signed a one-year contract extension to remain with Mercedes’ F1 team.
- Hamilton is the most marketable driver in the sport. The fashion-conscious driver started working with Tommy Hilfiger in 2018.
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton
7 January 1985
Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England
|Family||Nicolas Hamilton (brother)|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Car number||44[note 1]|
|Entries||275 (274 starts)|
|Championships||7 (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)|
|First entry||2007 Australian Grand Prix|
|First win||2007 Canadian Grand Prix|
|Last win||2021 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Last entry||2021 Austrian Grand Prix|
|2020 position||1st (347 pts)|
|British racing driver
Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE HonFREng (born 7 January 1985) is a British racing driver. He currently competes in Formula One for Mercedes, having previously driven for McLaren from 2007 to 2012. In Formula One, Hamilton has won a joint-record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher), and holds the records for the most wins (98), pole positions (100), and podium finishes (171), amongst others.
Born and raised in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Hamilton was signed to the McLaren young driver programme in 1998. This led to a Formula One drive with McLaren in 2007, making Hamilton the first, and so far only, black driver to race in the series. That season, Hamilton set numerous records as he finished runner-up to Kimi Räikkönen by one point. The following season, he won his maiden title in dramatic fashion—making a crucial overtake on the last corner of the last lap in the last race of the season—to become the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history. After four more years with McLaren, Hamilton signed with Mercedes in 2013.
Changes to the regulations for 2014, mandating the use of turbo-hybrid engines, came at the start of a highly successful period for Hamilton, during which he has won six further drivers’ titles. Hamilton won consecutive titles in 2014 and 2015 during an intense rivalry with teammate Nico Rosberg. Following Rosberg’s retirement, Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel became Hamilton’s closest rival in two intense championship battles, and Hamilton twice overturned mid-season points deficits to claim consecutive titles again in 2017 and 2018. Hamilton won his third and fourth titles in a row in 2019 and 2020, equaling Schumacher’s record of seven driver titles.
Hamilton has been credited with furthering Formula One’s global following by appealing to a broader audience outside the sport, in part due to his high-profile lifestyle, environmental and social activism, and his exploits in music and fashion. He has also become a prominent advocate in support of activism to combat racism and push for increased diversity in motorsport. Hamilton was listed in the 2020 issue of Time as one of the 100 most influential people globally, and was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.
Honours and achievements
- Formula One World Drivers’ Championship: 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- Formula One World Constructors’ Championship: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- DHL Fastest Lap Award: 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020
- FIA Pole Trophy/Pirelli Pole Position Award: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
- Hawthorn Memorial Trophy: 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- Lorenzo Bandini Trophy: 2009
Throughout his career, Hamilton has received several awards and honors. He won the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award in 2008 and the Sportsman of the Year Award in 2020. Hamilton also won Pride of Britain Awards (2007), Best Driver ESPY Award (2017), BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award (2014; 2020), L’Équipe Champion of Champions (2020), and Gazzetta World Sportsman of the Year (2018; 2020), among others prizes and awards. He was elected FIA Personality of the Year three times (2014; 2018; 2020), and was inducted to FIA Hall of Fame in 2017.
Orders and special awards
- Member of the Order of the British Empire
- Knight Bachelor
- Honorary Award, Grenada
- A portrait of Hamilton by photographer Dario Mitidieri is held in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
- The Hamilton Straight, Silverstone Circuit.