The adventure continues: the British Lewis Hamilton, seven-time world champion, renewed for two seasons, until 2023, his contract with Mercedes in order to continue making history in Formula 1.
«Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is delighted to announce a two-year extension of its collaboration with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, to continue a relationship that has become the most successful between a driver and a team in the history of the F1. Lewis will drive for Mercedes in 2022 and 2023, “the brand explained in a statement.
The announcement came before qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, round 9 on the calendar.
Hamilton equaled German Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles last year. He now has at least three years to become the most successful rider in the history of his sport.
At 36 years old, he is currently second in the World Cup behind the young Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), 23 years old. And this generational struggle will still offer many chapters.
– 98 wins and 100 pole positions –
Arrived in F1 in 2007 with McLaren, Hamilton was world champion for the first time with the British team in 2008, when he was 23 years old.
Since 2013 at Mercedes, he has pushed the limits in his discipline with six world titles between 2014 and 2020, only beaten in 2016 by his former teammate Nico Rosberg.
The Briton holds the records for Grand Prix victories (98), pole positions (100) and podiums (171).
Hamilton will experience the entry into force in 2022 of a new regulation and new cars, presented as a revolution by Formula 1.
“We are entering a new era of motorsport that will be both exhilarating and exciting,” explained Hamilton.
“We have accomplished so many things together, but we still have a lot to do, both on and off the track,” he added.
“I am incredibly proud and grateful for the way Mercedes has supported me in my desire to improve diversity and equality in our sport,” said Sir Hamilton, recently ennobled in the UK.
For Toto Wolff, the ‘main team’ of the Mercedes team, “there cannot be a better driver in our team than Lewis” for this new era.
“His achievements in this sport speak for themselves,” said the Austrian skipper.
– ‘World Superstar’ –
F1 president Stefano Domenicali also greeted “fantastic news for Formula 1”.
“He is a global superstar on and off the track, and his positive impact on Formula 1 is enormous,” he said.
The first black driver in the history of the premier class of motorsport, the Mercedes driver often alludes to the racism he had to deal with.
After the death of George Floyd, a victim of police abuse in the United States in 2020, the fight against racism became his main fight off the track.
Hamilton was “proud and grateful” for Mercedes’ support in its desire to “improve diversity and equality in our sport.”
When he signed his contract for the 2021 season in February, Hamilton announced the creation, in collaboration with Mercedes, of a foundation for the presence of greater diversity in the sport of motorsport.
Previously he had become a defender of the animal cause and the environment, not without causing irony, for being a car pilot who also travels around the world in his ‘private jet’.
Now it remains to be seen who will be his partner next year at Mercedes. The current teammate Valtteri Bottas, or another pilot, like the young Briton George Russell?
What is clear is that No. 1 will remain Hamilton. (AFP)