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F1 world champion Hamilton renews Mercedes contract for 2021 season

February 9, 2021
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Berlin, Feb. 8 (BNA): Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has renewed his contract at the Mercedes team at last, but only for the upcoming 2021 season which starts next month.

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff said in a statement on Monday that 'the very unusual year we had in 2020 meant it took some time to finish the process' of the contract extension, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), Britain's Hamilton came to Mercedes in 2013 in succession of Michael Schumacher and has since then erased the German from the record books in many areas.

In 2021, Hamilton can move one ahead of Schumacher with a record eighth world title. Currently on 95 race wins and 98 pole positions, he is also poised to become the first driver to reach the 100 milestone in both statistics.

Hamilton's future beyond the season remains unclear. He turned 36 last month and F1 will undergo radical rule changes next year.

'Lewis’s competitive record stands alongside the best the sports world has ever seen ... The story of Mercedes and Lewis has written itself into the history books of our sport over the past eight seasons, and we are hungry to compete and to add more chapters to it,” Wolff said.

'Together, we have decided to extend the sporting relationship for another season and to begin a longer-term project to take the next step in our shared commitment to greater diversity within our sport.'

Influential Hamilton, who has millions of followers on social media, is a big advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and other initiatives that fight injustice of any kind.

He made it clear he intends to continue this work apart from racing.

“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates. Our team has achieved incredible things together and we look forward to building on our success even further, while continuously looking to improve, both on and off the track,' he said.

“I’m equally determined to continue the journey we started to make motorsport more diverse for future generations and I am grateful that Mercedes has been extremely supportive of my call to address this issue.'

Hamilton was last driver to sign a contract for the season which starts a week later than planned, on March 28 in Bahrain, owing to the pandemic. Pre-season tests are set for mid-March in Bahrain.

bna

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