SPIELBERG, Austria – Seven times world champion Lewis hamilton will remain in Formula 1 for another two years after signing an agreement to stay with Mercedes until the end of the 2023 season.
Hamilton initially committed to a one-year contract with Mercedes this year, leaving his future uncertain beyond the end of the 2021 season. However, after continuing discussions with team boss Toto Wolff this season, Mercedes announced on Saturday that Hamilton will continue with the squad until at least the end of 2023.
The new contract will keep Hamilton, who is currently F1’s third oldest driver, in the sport until he is 38.
Hamilton has been with Mercedes since early 2013, winning six of his seven world championships with the team, 77 of his 98 race wins and 74 of his 100 pole positions.
He is currently second in the championship behind Max Verstappen and is looking to clinch an eighth world title this year, which would see him surpass the record he currently shares with Michael schumacher.
The 2022 season will see an overhaul of F1 technical regulations, with a new car shape aimed at slowing down speeds and improving the racing spectacle.
Over the past year, Hamilton, the only black driver in F1, has increasingly used his position within the sport to promote greater diversity in F1.
In a statement on Saturday morning, he said he still had more to do on and off the track.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been almost nine years of working with this incredible team and I’m delighted that we’re continuing our partnership for another two years,” said Hamilton. “We’ve accomplished so much together, but we still have a lot to accomplish, both on and off the track.
“I am incredibly proud and grateful for the way Mercedes has supported me in my drive to improve diversity and equality in our sport. They have held themselves accountable and made significant strides in building a team more diverse and inclusive environment.
“Thank you to all the dedicated and talented people at Mercedes whose hard work makes it all possible and to the Board of Directors for their continued confidence in me. We are entering a new era of car that will be challenging and exciting and I cannot wait to see what else we can accomplish together. “
Wolff, who is a 33% shareholder in the Mercedes team and recently pledged to remain as team manager until the end of 2023, said he would gladly keep Hamilton on the team as that he would be willing to stay.
“As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022, there can be no better driver in our team than Lewis. His achievements in the sport speak for themselves, and with his experience, his speed. and his know-how, he is at the height of his powers.
“We’re savoring the battle we have in our hands this year – and that’s why we wanted to close this deal early as well, so that we don’t have any distractions from the competition on the track. I’ve always said that as long as Lewis still has the fire for the race, he can go on for as long as he wants. “
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali added: “This is fantastic news for Formula 1 and I am delighted that Lewis will stay in F1 for at least two years.
“What he has accomplished 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.”