Lewis Hamilton has been officially confirmed to race for Mercedes in 2021 F1 season after a new deal was signed.

The news from both Hamilton and Mercedes has been long time coming as both took their time to sort out every bit of their contract. The Brit extends his stay at the Brackley-based team for his ninth F1 season, with six titles already won from eight years.

While teammate Valtteri Bottas had his one-year extension sorted mid-way in 2020, Hamilton dragged his discussions to until he took his seventh drivers’ title. It further pushed on after the British driver got COVID-19 post the Bahrain GP.

Hamilton was, in fact, already named in the 2021 FIA entry list, but it has now been formally confirmed. Interestingly, the release only mentions the current year and nothing beyond that, terming it as a ‘strategic partnership’ between the two.

“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates,” said Hamilton. “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.

“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.”

At the same time, Wolff added: “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.

“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.”

And Markus Schafer added: “We’re very happy to keep the most successful F1 driver of the current era in the most successful F1 team of the current era. Lewis Hamilton is not only an incredibly talented driver; he also works very hard for his achievements and is extremely hungry. He shares his passion for performance with the entire team which is why this collaboration has become so successful.

“But Lewis is also a warm-hearted personality who cares deeply about the world around him and wants to make an impact. As a company, Mercedes-Benz shares this sense of responsibility and is proud to commit to a new, joint foundation to improve diversity in motorsport. Opening the sport to under-represented groups will be important for its development in the future and we’re determined to make a positive impact.”

The new agreement binds on the push from Hamilton for ‘joint commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in motorsport’. They are to have a joint charitable foundation with the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion.

Here’s Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff on team work and unusual methods

Here’s James Allison on Mercedes engine department work

Here’s Romain Grosjean on Mercedes test chance

Here’s McLaren on things being done to fit Mercedes engine

Here’s Toto Wolff on 3-years contract unlikely for Lewis Hamilton