Lewis Hamilton has signed a two-year contract extension to not only stay with Mercedes, but also continue racing in F1 until 2023.

The news about a two-year extension was around the corner during the F1 Austrian GP weekend, with some reporting of a British GP announcement. The deal, however, has already been confirmed just ahead of qualifying and Sunday’s race.

Not only Hamilton stays with Mercedes, but also in F1, for until the 2023 season. It extends his relation with the German manufacturer to a total of 11 years, when he sees-through the current deal. In the eight years so far, he has won six titles with them.

“It is hard to believe it’s been nearly nine years working with this incredible team and I’m excited we’re going to continue our partnership for two more years,” said Hamilton. “We’ve accomplished so much together but we still have a lot to achieve, both on and off the track. I’m incredibly proud and grateful of how Mercedes has supported me in my drive to improve diversity and equality in our sport.

“They have held themselves accountable and made important strides in creating a more diverse team and inclusive environment. Thank you to all the dedicated and talented individuals at Mercedes whose hard work makes it all possible and the Board for their continued trust in me. We’re entering a new era of car which will be challenging and exciting and I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve together.”

At the same time, Toto Wolff added: “As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022 onwards, there can be no better driver to have in our team than Lewis. His achievements in this sport speak for themselves, and with his experience, speed and race-craft, he is at the peak of his powers.

“We are relishing the battle we have on our hands this year – and that’s why we also wanted to agree this contract early, so we have no distractions from the competition on track. I have always said that as long as Lewis still possesses the fire for racing, he can continue as long as he wants.”

Meanwhile, Markus Schafer, stated: “I am very pleased that Lewis Hamilton will continue to race for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in the upcoming next two F1 seasons. Lewis’ ambition and commitment for winning, always striving for improvement, have played an essential role for our team and brand to become as successful as we are today.

“And he is not only a very talented driver, but also a socially engaged and caring person who wants to make an impact in society. Together, we are dedicated to continuing our joint success in the future.”

And F1 chief Stefano Domenicali added: “This is fantastic news for Formula 1 and I am delighted that Lewis will stay In F1 for at least another two years. What he has achieved in this sport is incredible and I know he has more to come. He is a global superstar on and off the race track and his positive impact on Formula 1 is huge.”

With the deal with Hamilton done, all eyes will be on the second seat, as both Valtteri Bottas and George Russell remain in contention. The speculations points towards the British driver, but the chances of the Finn is not slim either.

Here’s Lewis Hamilton on sim sessions