By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
At long last, seven-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton was finally confirmed Monday that he’ll stay with Mercedes-AMG Petronas for this upcoming season.
Monday’s announcement meant the 2021 F1 grid was completed after months of not knowing if Hamilton will stay in the sport.
However, all of that chatter were finally settled as the seven-time champion hopes to make more history.
“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,” said Hamilton.
“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. 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-AMG Petronas F1 Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff was already confirmed in staying with Mercedes back in December. His current role will last through the end of 2023.
Wolff said 2020 was a very unusual year that contract negotiations took time to materialize. Now that the agreement was made, Wolff is thrilled on having Hamilton back which’ll keep the band together once more.
“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,” said Wolff.
“Lewis’s 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.”
Additionally, the seven-time constructors’ champion will also have INEOS as a shareholder. They’ll have one-third of the stake along with Wolff and Daimler AG. Wolff’s stake increased to 33% while Daimler’s dropped as it used to sharehold 60%.
Furthermore, nothing will change in the chassis and power unit for the coming years as they’ll still be representing the “Silver Arrow.” That in mind, no team in F1 have been able to win seven drivers (six with Hamilton and one with Nico Rosberg) and constructors championship at the same time like Mercedes have done since 2014.
Wolff is pleased to begin his next chapter with Mercedes, hoping with INEOS onboard and continuing his relationship with Daimler AG, they’ll continue extending their dynasty they’ve built throughout the Hybrid Era.
“This team is like a family for me. We have been through so many highs and lows together that I cannot imagine working with a better group of people in this sport – and I am very happy to continue together into this new era,” Wolff explained in December.
“This new investment from INEOS confirms that the business case for Formula One teams is robust and sends an important signal of confidence in the sport after a challenging year. I am excited to welcome Jim, Andy and John to the team as co-owners: they have built one of the most profitable companies in the world, they embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship and their expertise will strengthen our board in the years ahead.
“In parallel, it is a privilege to continue my partnership with Ola, Markus Schäfer and Mercedes-Benz for the coming years. We are proud to have added to the brand’s prestigious motorsport heritage since 2010 and we share the ambition to grow the organisation further in the years to come.”
With both pivotal pieces of the puzzle settled, the goal shifts on continuing breaking records as Hamilton will look to stand alone as the most successful world champion of all-time. For Mercedes, it’s continuing their streak by going for an eighth title as an organization.