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Lewis Hamilton signs new contract with Mercedes as Formula 1 icon seeks to win record EIGHTH World Championship in 2021 season

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Lewis Hamilton has signed a new one-year contract with Mercedes, the Formula 1 team has announced.

Hamilton, who last season equalled Michael Schumacher’s F1 record by winning his seventh World Championship, was out of contract before penning his new deal.

He heads into the 2021 season hoping to become the first driver in F1 history to win eight drivers’ championships. The new campaign gets under way in Bahrain next month.

A Mercedes statement read: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is pleased to announce that the reigning Formula One World Constructors’ Champion and the reigning F1 World Drivers’ Champion will continue together in 2021.

“The Mercedes works team and Lewis agreed a new contract which will see one of the sport’s most successful ever collaborations continue for a ninth consecutive season.

“A significant part of the new agreement builds upon the joint commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in motorsport that was made last year by Lewis and Mercedes.

“This will take the form of a joint charitable foundation, which will have the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport.”

Hamilton, who was knighted in the New Year Honours, has been in the unusual situation of being out of contract since his last £40million-a-year deal expired on the final day of December.

Getty Images – Getty

Hamilton won his seventh drivers’ championship last season and is aiming to become the first driver to ever win EIGHT this year

The Brit, who persuaded his Mercedes team to change their livery from silver to black to highlight the fight against racism, added: “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 team principal Toto Wolff said: “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.

“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.”

Hamilton surpassed Michael Schumacher’s record number of victories last season and emulated the German by winning a seventh title.

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