Reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has signed a 3 year contract to remain with Mercedes AMG Petronas. Speculation has been rife for the past few months regarding Lewis Hamilton’s future in Formula One with his current team that took him to his second world championship last year.
The deal is set to earn Hamilton a salary of £20.9m, with the possibility of reaching £27m depending on how many races wins he secures and if he wins another championship. This is salary is thought to be similar to that of double champion Fernando Alonso and quadruple champion Sebasitan Vettel.
“Mercedes is my home and I couldn’t be happier to be staying here for another three years,” Said Lewis in a statement today, “This is a company filled with real passionate racers, from the board room to the factory floor, and an incredible hunger to win. Even after the success of last year, that hunger is greater than ever – and it’s the same for me, too.
“The Mercedes car I am driving right now is the best I have ever had in my career; it’s just so much fun to be out there every weekend, on the limit and fighting to win at every track. Mercedes-Benz began supporting me in 1998 so I am very proud that this contract means I will mark 20 years with Mercedes in 2018.”
Lewis signed for Mercedes after leaving McLaren at the end of 2012. He replaced 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher and joined Nico Rosberg. In the last two years, Hamilton and Rosberg have taken 20 victories in 24 races; only losing to Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull or Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
“Continuity is one of the key factors for delivering success in Formula One and we now have that in place,” said Mercedes-Benz Motorsport head Toto Wolff,
Rumours emerged recently that Lewis Hamilton may pursue a possible vacancy at Ferrari if Kimi Raikkonen should retire at the end of the year. These claims were rubbished by Scuderia team principal Maurizio Arrivabene and have now been quelled by today’s contract signing.
“Lewis enjoyed an historic World Championship season with Mercedes-Benz last year and it was a priority for this season to renew his contract for the next term. We have taken the right amount of time with the process and not rushed ourselves,” Toto Wolff continued, “The result is a strong agreement that will enhance Lewis’ association with the Mercedes-Benz brand, and that recognises and respects the market value of Lewis and of Mercedes in Formula One. Lewis’ sporting track record speaks for itself and he is a great personality for the company.
“Personally, I am looking forward to continuing to race with the strongest driver pairing in Formula One and to more historic achievements together.”