Hamilton won 6 of his 7 world titles with Mercedes as his dominance coincided with the groundbreaking turbo hybrid V6 engines the Germans mastered
Hamilton has now committed his future to Mercedes
7-time world champion, and statistically, the most successful driver in the history of F1, Lewis Hamilton has extended his Mercedes contract till 2023 which means he will be in the sport till the age of 38 minimum. Hamilton had only signed a 1-year extension with Mercedes in 2021, something which happened last minute just before the start of the 2021 pre-season testing. Hamilton and Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff had discussed starting extension talks earlier and locking them in before the conclusion of the summer phase of the 2021 season.
“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. We’ve accomplished so much together but we still have a lot to achieve, both on and off the track,” said the 36-year old who joined the team based in Brackley in 2013 from McLaren where he had been since he started racing.
“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,” he said.
“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,” added the 7-time champion, who is currently trailing Max Verstappen in 2021 world title race.
Hamilton has won 6 of his 7 world titles with Mercedes as his dominance coincided with the groundbreaking turbo hybrid V6 engines which Mercedes has mastered better than any other manufacturer since 2014. In the turbo-hybrid era of the sport, all the world titles have been won by the team and the one driver’s title that Hamilton didn’t win, went to his former teammate and rival Nico Rosberg in 2016.
While having thwarted Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel’s challenge twice in 2017 and 2018, for the last couple of years his main rival has been Red Bull and its gifted driver Max Verstappen who many believe is even better than the Briton. For the first time in the turbo-hybrid era, a team has a consistently better car, overall than the Mercedes which has given Verstappen the tools to take on the wily Hamilton. Both drivers have won 3 races each, however, Verstappen for the first time also has an impressive teammate in Sergio Perez who won in Baku when Verstappen crashed and Hamilton finished outside of the points.
Hamilton on the other hand hasn’t had that kind of support this year from his teammate of five years, Valtteri Bottas. Bottas is out of a contract later this year and mostly this season has looked out of sorts. Bottas is feeling the heat as he has been handily dominated by Hamilton over the years while now there is a nation that Mercedes junior George Russell may also be better than the Fin.
The youngster was handed a Mercedes drive last year at the Sakhir GP when Hamilton was infected with COVID19. He dazzled as he overtook Bottas at the start and was set for comfortable victory until a series of unfortunate botch ups by the Mercedes pit crew ruined the race for both the drivers. Many believe that Mercedes will switch Russell with Bottas. Bottas joined Mercedes from the Williams team which is tottering in second last position these days. Chances are the Fin will spend the fag end of his F1 career at the team as well, though things could change next year with the new aerodynamic rules, budget cap, development restrictions and fresh investment that the Williams team has received.
For Hamilton, though this may not be the greatest thing as he may face stiff challenges from the young Russell which hasn’t happened from a teammate since Nico Rosberg beat him in 2016.
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