Lewis Hamilton SIGNS £40m-a-year Mercedes contract as F1 legend ends speculation over future and terms finally agreed

LEWIS HAMILTON has finally signed his new deal with Mercedes – estimated to be worth up to £40million.

The Brit, who had been out of contract since January 1, has committed to Mercedes for another year.

Hamilton, 36, will go into his 15th season in F1 looking to win a record eighth world title – surpassing the joint-record he currently holds with Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton already holds the record for the most wins (95), pole positions (98) and podium finishes (165).

Mercedes say the new deal will "form of a joint charitable foundation, which will have the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport".

Hamilton said: "I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes teammates.

"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."

Mercedes' CEO and team boss, Toto 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.

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"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."

Following Monday's announcement, fans can look forward to the Mercs unveiling their 2021 car on March 2.

Testing in Bahrain gets underway on March 12 with the season opener in the desert two weeks later.

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