A little over a year ago, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes F1 inked a one-year deal with a promise to form a joint charitable foundation to promote greater diversity and inclusion. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team has come through with financial and public support to Hamilton’s satisfaction, and the seven-time world champion (six of those with the Mercedes team) agreed yesterday to extend his contract for an additional two years.
It’s somewhat mind-bending that Sir Hamilton has already been racing F1 for 15 years and will be entering his 17th season with the sport in 2023. The successful driver has been with the Mercedes team for nearly nine years to date.
“This is fantastic news for Formula 1 and I am delighted that Lewis will stay in Formula 1 for at least another two years,” F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said via Formula1.com. “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.”
Hamilton seems to have been born a superstar, as he won the British Kart Championship at age 10 and went on to sign with the McLaren and Mercedes Young Driver program three years later, the youngest driver to be contracted with an F1 team. He won his first world championship title in 2008 with McLaren and went on to win under the Mercedes banner in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
For his part, Hamilton is positive about the new contract, posting a photo of himself signing for the next phase of his career with the German brand.
“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,” Hamilton posted via Twitter. “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,” he enthused. “They have held themselves accountable and made important strides in creating a more diverse team and inclusive environment.”
Hamilton will be 38 when his contract expires in 2023, and if he keeps up his current pace there’s no reason for him to stop any time soon. As long as Mercedes can afford the approximately $450 million to support the season each year, the dynasty has a good chance of continuing.
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