Sir Lewis Hamilton has signed a new deal to race for an eighth world title at Mercedes.
After months of deliberation and delay, the news was confirmed by the all-conquering team on Monday morning.
It is believed that Hamilton, 36, was compelled to compromise on his original pay demands of £40million a year given the financial climate and his lack of alternative seats.
He will partner Finn Valtteri Bottas in the black-livered Mercedes again this year.
A 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.
British superstar Hamilton made history last year but a new deal proved difficult to agree
‘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 is chasing the eighth championship success, and seventh with his current team, that would put him ahead of every other driver in history, including Michael Schumacher, the Ferrari legend who won seven titles in the Nineties and early years of this century.
Hamilton is currently training in America for the new season, which is due to start in Bahrain on March 28.
The Brit, who was knighted in the latest New Year Honours, spent Sunday night watching his friend Tom Brady win a seventh Super Bowl title. ‘Welcome to No 7;’ Hamilton told the legendary quarterback.
More to follow.