Since 2018 began, the Formula 1 community has been watching 4-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton for indications as to his future with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. Although there was speculation that he would leave after this season, Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff had been very confident that his star driver would stay on.
“We have been aligned with Lewis ever since we first sat down to discuss the details of this contract after last season, but there has understandably been a lot of interest and speculation around the whole process,” said Wolff.
“So it’s good to put all of that to rest and get this thing announced. We signed the final documents this week and didn’t want to keep people waiting any longer!” he added.
The reigning champion’s new contract is essentially an extension which will see him race with the team till the end of 2020. By that year, Hamilton will have been 8 with the Mercedes-AMG team and over two decades in the racing family – his longest period with a single team in the sport. During that time, he collected 3 world titles and 44 wins which makes him the most successful ever Silver Arrows driver. His career total of 65 F1 wins places him second on the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher.
Also of note is that fact that, since making his F1 debut in 2007, every single Grand Prix race Hamilton has participated in has been with a racing car powered by Mercedes-Benz engines.
“This contract extension has basically been a formality since Toto and I sat down during the winter, so it’s good to put pen to paper, announce it and then get on with business as usual. I have been part of the Mercedes racing family for 20 years and I have never been happier inside a team than I am right now. We are on the same wavelength both on and off track – and I am looking forward to winning more in the future and shining even more light on the Three-pointed star,” Hamilton said.
“I’m very confident that Mercedes is the right place to be over the coming years. Although we have enjoyed so much success together since 2013, Mercedes is hungrier than ever – from Dr Zetsche and the board members at the top of Daimler, through Toto and the team management, to every single person I meet in the corridors of Brixworth and Brackley. The competitive passion that burns bright inside me is shared by every single member of this group – always chasing the next improvement and digging even deeper to make sure we come out on top. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in the next two-and-a-half seasons,” said Hamilton.
Although the monetary value of the contract has not been officially revealed, it is believed that 33-year old British driver will receive at least £80 million (equivalent to about RM424 million at today’s exchange rates) in total during the 2-year period. And that’s just from the German team; he would also have additional income from the other companies that have their names on his car and racing suit.