Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season

2021 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new deal to drive for Mercedes in the 2021 F1 season has finally been confirmed.

Mercedes announced a single-year contract extension which will see the seven-times world champion return to drive for them as he bids to become the first person in the sport’s history to win eight titles.

“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes team mates,” said Hamilton. “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.”

Valtteri Bottas signed a one-year contract extension with Mercedes last year and will continue as Hamilton’s team mate.

Under Hamilton’s new deal, he and Mercedes will collaborate on a charitable foundation to promote diversity and inclusion across motorsport.

“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,” said Hamilton.

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
2021 F1 drivers and teams
“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.”

Mercedes CEO and team principal Toto Wolff said the complications caused by the pandemic – both he and Hamilton have contracted and recovered from Covid-19 within the past three months – delayed the signing of a new agreement.

“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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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131 comments on “Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season”

  1. This is the only article on this I can see on any of my (four) go-to F1 sites- at 11:03.

    I have no doubt it will prove to be right- but out of interest, what’s the source?

      1. Oh yeah…

        I suppose what I mean’t to say was- good trigger finger!

    1. I got it about 10 ago in the official F1 app time posted 11:10

  2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    8th February 2021, 11:05

    Well, that’s this anti-climax out of the way

  3. Bones Gambino
    8th February 2021, 11:07

    1 year only?

    1. @Bones Gambino Probably so that he can re-evaluate his motivation to continue beyond this year, and also possible to keep an option open for a Bottas-Russell line up should he decided to quit after this year’s campaign.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        8th February 2021, 12:21

        Mercedes are dead set on Russell for 2022. Giving in to Lewis’ demands of a multi year deal and teammate veto was not going to happen.

        1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk Mercedes insisted on a 3 year deal, but Hamilton didn’t want to commit that long. The rumor about the veto is just that, a random rumor.

          1. @f1osaurus What’s your source for this supposed 3 year deal?

          2. Sounds like you got it the other way around. Why would Merc push for a multi-year deal with someone that’s closer to the end of their career, than with someone that’s at the start, i.e. George.

          3. @psynrg That would be racefans. Article here on the site in October with quotes from Hamilton that he does not want to sign for that long.

          4. @F1osaurus
            Hahaha, you never seize to amaze me with your lies.
            You know literally nothing about the negotiations between Lewis and Mercedes, nor are you capable to deduct anything from previous statements.
            Lies, lies and more lies, that’s all you bring to the table.

          5. @f1osaurus I’d heard it was Hamilton that wanted the longer term deal but Mercedes weren’t comfortable with it. But as none of us were party to the negotiations, who knows.

          6. @chrisr1718 Yes that’s how people making up rumors works. Even though Hamilton already said months ago that he wasn’t looking for a 3 year deal. I assume he was party in the negotiations. Makes sense to take his word over some rumors.

          7. @f1osaurus That’s the logical scenario. Presuming Mercedes continue in F1, it makes more sense for them to want Hamilton on a longer contract, assuring them of a top driver during the adaptation to the new regulations, and much more sense for Hamilton, given his leverage, to want just one year. That puts pressure on Mercedes to offer something good for 2022 and onwards, allows Hamilton to assess options, including a career away from F1, or more likely, if he still enjoys racing as he seems to, for another team. Of course Mercedes probably will sign Russell whatever and may he’s good enough to lead the team. I suspect so. But still Mercedes (and Hamilton) could go with both of them at the team with Bottas dropping out.
            So, yeah, I’d presume it was Hamilton wanting one year only that was the sticking point.

          8. @f1osaurus “Yes that’s how people making up rumours works.”

            Lol rich coming from you. I’ve looked at the October article from this site that you refer to. Perhaps you could provide direct quotes from it to support you point. And I don’t mean that you should just do your usual and tell me to go read it myself. I have. And I can’t see anything that supports your rumour mongering.

            Says you…”Mercedes insisted on a three year deal”…Ok show us the proof of that.

            Says you…”quotes from Hamilton that he does not want to sign for that long”…Ok show us those direct quotes.

            Says you…”even though he said months ago that he wasn’t looking for a 3 year deal” Again just show us the quotes then that directly say that, and not your vague memory of some words he used that you then shaped into your own narrative like people won’t fact check you on this stuff.

            “Makes sense to take his word over some rumours.” Ok then why don’t you use his words accurately rather than inaccurately, because that causes you to then start the very rumours you seem to decry.

          9. @f1osaurus
            ““When we do sit down, normally we plan in three-year periods. But of course, we’re in a different time.

            “Do I want to continue for three years? That’s also a question; there are many, many questions still to be answered.”

            This is the exact quote from the “Hamilton – Mercedes – article”. Actually, Hamilton said they didn’t even sit down togheter, so yeah, making up facts as you go.

          10. @robbie No proof of anything as yet, beyond the existence of a one year contract. However those quotes from Hamilton did suggest to many people in those distant times (October) that maybe Hamilton was thinking about quitting F1. I thought it sounded like contract leverage – and Mercedes didn’t wilt. Even so, it signalled Hamilton was OK with walking away after one year. But what would Mercedes really want? A three-year contract and to pay as little as possible, surely. They always play safe. It’s a huge company with lots of people dependent on the team’s success. Hamilton is commercial revenue and a 7x current champion. Obviously he’s the best option. But he is more likely to want 1 year and then decide (again) or 3 years and a lot of cash – to make up for being tied to a team for two extra years he can’t know will produce a good car for 2022+. Hence the one year solution.

          11. @david-br I just don’t see it quite the same way. It starts with that I don’t see LH and Mercedes playing hard ball with each other, staring each other down until someone ‘wilts.’ Nor needing nor applying ‘contract leverage.’ They don’t have their lawyers sat on opposite sides of the negotiating table lobbing grenades at each other to see who can squeeze the most out of whom, imho. You speak of LH being leery of being “tied to a team for two extra years he can’t know will produce a good car for 2022+. Hence the one year solution.”

            Rather, I just think LH and Mercedes are family through and through. I think LH isn’t playing hard ball nor is Mercedes. I think they genuinely just ran out of time to suss out the details of the LH/Mercedes marriage going forward, not because they are in some staring contest or what have you, but simply because there is a lot they want to do together not just regarding LH’s remaining years in F1, but things to do with the global direction Mercedes wants to go in terms of the environment and social justice.

            LH isn’t going anywhere. He will finish his driving career in F1 at Mercedes. He is not holding out to see what the 2022 car will be like. He doesn’t have time nor the desire, imho, to go elsewhere and start anew. And where better even if he did have the time and the motivation? Imho he will be driving at Mercedes at least through 2023, and he doesn’t need to see what the 2022 car will be like. It will be a car that will have been built with them (his family) having tonnage of data on him, and it will afford him every bit the opportunity any other team or car would, except that they’re intimate with him, and he them, and they will finish off LH’s F1 driving career, whenever that will be, together.

            So you see I just think much has already been decided. The main stuff. I think they know they will be together until LH is done driving in F1, and the rest is just the semantics.

          12. @robbie Spoken like a true Hamilton fan XD
            A lot of that sounds very likely indeed. Still, there’s no reason for them to have the same vision of the future and that implies that what they want in any contract will diverge. Obviously that can be negotiated amicably. ‘They’ in the ‘Mercedes’ case is quite a complex creature with multiple parties and interests. Personally I hope for something more exciting than another three years of Hamilton/Mercedes, especially if the 2022 car is as good. But maybe I’m just projecting what I’d like to see happen (Hamilton move to another team, Mercedes not to be the top car again, other drivers in contention in as near equal fight as possible). Maybe your version of what will happen is right though, Hamilton completes his career in a few years time at Merc.

        2. You were privy to the details of what either side wanted then? I seriously doubt it. Rumour disguised as fact. Nobody, except the persons involved, knows what was requested from Lewis or Mercedes.

          1. Exactly. Hopefully, you’ve dismissed the daft ‘veto rumour as well

        3. That’s exactly how I read it too, they want George in 2022 no matter what. Lewis can play along or call it quits as both parties have achieved more than their wildest dreams already.

          Another give away is Merc and Lewis have probably been talking about the contract for at least 6 months just to end up with a 12 month extension? lol

    2. Yeah, I think this means the parties were basically unhappy with the terms. I just don’t see any party beng happy with one year.

      I’m looking forward to more detail.

    3. Obviously, Lewis wants out before RB or Ferrari get up to speed, if they ever do.
      He knows he’s got one more season of absolute and utter Merc domination. After that he may well have to compete. Yes, compete. Wow: That’s something he has not had to do for years and years now: he just gets in the car and wins.

    4. Sure. At his age he probably has to ask himself each year if he wants to continue and I’d imagine Mercedes are thinking the same thing. Remember, racing has been the focus of his life since he was quite young, so it’s not a stretch to think that he may now be asking himself if it’s time for a new focus/challenge.
      He may also be questioning if he wants to go through the process of developing a new car from scratch (relatively speaking) again, dealing with all the issues etc, that come from the process.

    5. Probably because of the Budget cap rules of 2022….just my guess.

    6. Because he doesn’t want to go up against a Verstappen or Russell in 2022. He’ll sign up again for 2022 if Bottas or another patsy is his teammate.

    7. One year to many. They should go with Russel. Anyway, mark my words. Next year Russel is in Mercedes and the question is will it be Hamilton or Bottas that will have to go away.

  4. Shame. I was kinda hoping at this point they’d just fall apart and Hamilton had to sign with Arrows instead.

  5. Finally announced before car launches are set to start.

  6. One year. So Mercedes blinked first?

    Puts them in a slightly more difficult position for the rule changes in 2022, unless they can persuade Hamilton to sign again.

    1. I would have thought that Hamilton blinked first as he would be more likely to push for a multi-year deal.

      Or, just as likely, there was a whole lot of other stuff going on behind the scenes and contract length was not a sticking point!

      1. Part of the deal is a joint charitable foundation between Hamilton and Mercedes. So that looks like the Brand Ambassador role for the long term future.

      2. Mercedes definitely blinked first. They now have no drivers contracted in 2022, so how or who are they going to develop a car for the 2022 regs?

        1. I hardly think they are going to struggle to hire a driver…

          1. +1 or more.

        2. Yeah. It doesn’t make any sense not having a single driver for the new regulation. Unless Mercedes knew they won’t be there as a constructor. And give Ineos more freedom to build the team.

        3. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          8th February 2021, 12:19

          No Hamilton blinked first.
          He wanted a multi year deal and a veto on his teammate.

          Mercedes are dead set on Russell for 2022, so this way they can get what they want. When they sign Russell for 2022. Then Lewis will have no choice but have Russell as his team mate or leave Mercedes.

          1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk You are living in your own world mate. Mercedes was pushing for at least 2 years. Read the past news.

          2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk Already in October Hamilton indicated he did not want to sign for 3 years “Hamilton unsure if he wants another three years at Mercedes”

            The contract supposedly also has an option for an extension that Hamilton can call.

          3. Another who believes everything they read elsewhere

            As @brum55 points out. It makes no sense for Mercedes to have two drivers out of contract at the end of this season. And it makes less sense when you consider one of them is Bottas

            Plus of course they’re going to give the man who’s just delivered them 6 titles in his 7 years, a one year deal!!

          4. So with brand new regulations in 2022, you think Mercedes are completely relaxed about a possible 8 x WDC going to a rival team and then rely on Russell to help develop the car in season?

          5. @f1oclown
            Supposedly he wanted a 5 year contract, supposedly he wanted a veto on his teammate, supposedly he wanted a piece of Merc’s team income……..blablabla.
            You know nothing!

          6. @f1osaurus You do realize don’t you that “Hamilton unsure if he wants another three years at Mercedes” is the title of the article, right? Not a quote from LH.

            Please provide the quote from LH himself where he says, according to you, “he did not want to sign for 3 years…”

            As well how about including the quotes that say “the contract supposedly has an option for an extension that Hamilton can call.”

          7. @robbie You do realize that you could actually read his quotes?

            Or just get back under your bridge, useless troll.

          8. @f1osaurus Ah yes your usual highly predictable and highly intelligent response when you can’t support your erroneous claim with actual quotes when asked to. Such a Trumpian thing to do from a Trumposaurus. Even when I asked you further up on this page not to just tell me to read it myself and when I have pointed out to you that I have already read your cited article and would like you to point out the exact quotes that support your claim, you still do the same thing over and over again. You’re special. Please don’t have kids.

          9. @robbie Get lost troll. Stop wasting upstanding people’s time with your nonsense.

        4. Every driver in the world.

          Verstappen has an out in his contract, RBR becoming a customer team, I think Verstappen now clearly in the box seat to driver the Merc in 2022.

          Hamilton wanted a big multi-year deal with veto power but Daimler denied him.

          1. A driver doesn’t need an out clause in his contract. Not saying they don’t exist though. If a driver no longer wants to drive for a team, they can’t exactly force him into the cockpit, and even if they could, that wouldn’t exactly be the setting within which he would excel. Contracts can be broken at any time and it is ‘simply’ then a matter of one party or another having to pay up to buy the contract out, whichever direction we are talking about. In the case of Perez, he had two more years on his contract with (now) AM, so they would have had to fork over no small amount of coin to release him. If Max wants out of RBR early, he’ll have to pay them. Unless of course there is an out clause that would apply specifically to the situation, such that he wouldn’t have to pay anything, but I think you get my point. A driver doesn’t need an out clause in order to leave a team before his contract is up, if he simply decides he no longer wants to driver wherever it is he is driving and is willing to bring out his cheque book to prove it. If it were Max we’re talking about, I’m sure his new team would pick up any tab owed to, in this case RBR, for him jumping out of his contract, as part of his new signing deal.

  7. So, one year only, one season for someone to earn that seat or, two drivers to earn those seats if Bottas isn`t careful.

  8. One year only? I don’t know what happens behind the doors, but this is a bit odd.

  9. I’m so happy that Hamilton has been able to find a job. He’s been struggling so much since he became unemployed 5 weeks ago. Shame it’s a part-time job on the weekends only though.

    1. Yes, I agree. The system was against him, actually all along it has been. He is so underprivileged I think we should raise some funds for him

      1. He’s clearly been discriminated against throughout his career. The worst car, the lowest pay, never given a chance to voice his opinions in a public fashion. Perhaps we’re finally seeing a turnaround in his fortunes.

  10. The single year contract implies everyone who was talking about him having a teammate clause is completely wrong. No point in having a teammate clause if you’re not going to be there the following year! As much as I’d miss watching him race, I’d like to see to him get the 8th this year and go out on the high, the success won’t last forever and better to go out on a high

    1. How does that make them wrong, exactly? If anything the 1-year-contract implies that whatever demands he had they couldn’t agree with and they ended up making a short-term deal instead.

    2. Not conclusive. Not that I think it’s likely but this could be the reason the contract is good for a year only, while Bottas is still there, there might be a disagreement about the teammate veto afterwards

    3. The single year contract implies everyone who was talking about him having a teammate clause is completely wrong.

      I thought it referred only to the duration of the contract, implying it doesn’t include 2022.

      1. @coldfly I know it’s hard to understand if you only want to try and seem funny, but if he’s only got a contract for 2021, how much influence would that give him for who drives the car in 2022?

        1. ‘Try’ being the operative word. To be honest people like him would shout ‘greedy’ if he’d got a 3 year deal and now they do it because he got 1. COldfly and Dean F and others hover round Lewis boards ready to pounce on anything he does. If they want to spend their lives doing that its up to them I guess. Seems incredibly dull, certainly dull to plough through to get to a decent conversation.