Hamilton: It was a formality but good to put pen to paper

Four times Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have confirmed a new deal extension that will keep him with the Silver Arrows until the end of 2020, the last year of the current era engine formula.

Although the financial side of the deal is secret, it is expected that Hamilton will become the highest paid race driver in history when he banks $60-million per year for the next two seasons.

There was talk of a standoff as both parties supposedly niggled over detail, although they both agreed there was never a rush to get the deal inked.

Hamilton said, “This contract extension has basically been a formality since Toto and I sat down during the winter, so it’s good to put pen to paper, announce it and then get on with business as usual.”

“I have been part of the Mercedes racing family for 20 years and I have never been happier inside a team than I am right now. We are on the same wavelength both on and off track – and I am looking forward to winning more in the future and shining even more light on the three-pointed star.”

“I’m very confident that Mercedes is the right place to be over the coming years. Although we have enjoyed so much success together since 2013, Mercedes is hungrier than ever – from Dr Zetsche and the board members at the top of Daimler, through Toto and the team management, to every single person I meet in the corridors of Brixworth and Brackley.”

“The competitive passion that burns bright inside me is shared by every single member of this group – always chasing the next improvement and digging even deeper to make sure we come out on top. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in the next two-and-a-half seasons,” added Hamilton.

Fittingly, and as we predicted, the announcement has come on the eve of hat may well be the last German Grand Prix for the foreseeable future, nevertheless, it is home soil where Mercedes top brass and many workers will no doubt drink a toast to retaining Hamilton.

The Briton joined Mercedes in 2013 making his debut for the Silver Arrows at the Australian Grand Prix that year. Since then Hamilton has bagged 44 victories and three Formula 1 World Championship titles in the process.

At this weekend’s German Grand Prix – which Hamilton has won on three occasions – he will be making his 109th start, one short of the number of races he drove for in McLaren colours – always with Mercedes power