Sir Lewis Hamilton has signed a one-year contract extension with Mercedes for the 2021 Formula One season. The seven-time world champion announced the news on Monday (Feb. 8), bringing an end to weeks of contract negotiations with Mercedes.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates,” Hamilton said. “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.”
Last year, Hamilton had his Mercedes car painted black and urged the brand to swap out its traditional silver livery as a message against systemic racism.
“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 said.
“I’m proud to say we are taking that effort further this year by launching a foundation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the sport. I am inspired by all that we can build together and can’t wait to get back on the track in March.”
In a statement, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explained their weeks-long negotiations. “We have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue, but the very unusual year we had in 2020 meant it took some time to finish the process,” he 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,” he continued. “Lewis’ competitive record stands alongside the best the sports world has ever seen and he is a valued ambassador for our brand and our partners. 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.”
At the Tuscan Grand Prix in September, Hamilton made headlines for wearing a t-shirt that read: “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” which led to some rule changes by the FIA. The British driver also took a knee in solidarity with racial justice protesters ahead of the race.