Lewis Hamilton signs new one-year deal with Mercedes

The British driver, 36, will be bidding to win an unprecedented eighth world title when the season gets under way in Bahrain next month.

FILE: Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton reacts as he gets out of his car after winning the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit in Istanbul on 15 November 2020. Lewis Hamilton won the race to seal his 7th World Championship. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Lewis Hamilton has ended his long-running contract saga with Mercedes by signing a new one-year deal, the Formula One team announced on Monday.

The British driver, 36, will be bidding to win an unprecedented eighth world title when the season gets under way in Bahrain next month.

"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," said team principal Toto Wolff, referring to impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"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," he added.

Hamilton had been out of contract since his previous deal expired on the final day of December.

But after several weeks of negotiations with Mercedes, his future has finally been settled, albeit with both parties agreeing to only one extra year.

Hamilton said he was "excited" to be heading into a ninth season with Mercedes.

"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," he said.

"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 equalled Michael Schumacher's championship haul with his seventh title in 2020 and already has more race wins, pole positions and podiums that any other driver in the sport's history.

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