Lewis Hamilton finally put pen to paper and has confirmed a two-year extension to his Mercedes contract, to the end of 2020.
The four time world champion has enjoyed huge success with the team and the extension was considered a formality. The deal runs to the end of 2020 and aligns him with Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, who are also signed up to the same point with Ferrari and Red Bull respectively.
It also aligns F1’s leading drivers who are all tied to their teams to the end of 2020, which is when the current bilateral team agreements with F1 expire. Currently the teams are not bound into F1 beyond that date.
The rules for F1 post 2020 are being discussed currently but it is taking time. It is also linked to the commercial picture around F1, with budget caps and revenue sharing part of the wider discussion.
Now this has been done, it’s anticipated that Mercedes will confirm Valtteri Bottas as his team mate in due course.
“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,” said Hamilton, who is understood to have signed during the Silverstone weekend.
“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. 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.”
What do you think? What will happen after 2020? Leave your comments below