Reigning Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton has spent much of the last few years alternating between hyping up his fans and keeping them on their toes. With talks of a potential retirement on the table, Hamilton’s plans have been a bit of a mystery. At least, until now — the British driver has signed on with Mercedes through 2023.
The two-year deal was announced just ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. At the end of that tenure, Hamilton will have raced for Mercedes for over a decade.
Hamilton has long avoided extended contract negotiations, and in recent years, he’s never really had a reason to; after all, he’s a multi-time champion. If one team won’t give him his asking terms, then another one certainly will.
On signing the deal, Hamilton noted the following:
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. 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. They have held themselves accountable and made important strides in creating a more diverse team and inclusive environment.
Thank you to all the dedicated and talented individuals at Mercedes whose hard work makes it all possible and the Board for their continued trust in me. We’re entering a new era of car which will be challenging and exciting and I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve together.
The renewal comes in the midst of a fierce championship battle with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who has emerged as Hamilton’s most intense competitor this season.
Now, the big question that remains is: who will be Hamilton’s teammate? Valtteri Bottas’ contract expires at the end of this season, and there has been near constant talk about who will be filling that seat. Will Bottas stay? Or will Mercedes give a chance to young talent George Russell, who has had plenty of promising performances in Williams but who ultimately needs a better car to make things happen.