Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have finally announced an extension to his contract for the 2021 season. The announcement from Mercedes has put an end to multiple speculations that ranged from a "Veto Clause" to "conflicts" over Hamilton's monetary demands.
Lewis Hamilton's focus on diversity and greater inclusion
Lewis Hamilton emphasised how the new contract was focused on bringing greater diversity and inclusion to the sport.
Talking about his new contract, 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've 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."
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Speaking about the steps taken for the same, Hamilton added, "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 and Lewis Hamilton join hands to improve diversity
Toto Wolff, for his part, emphasized the importance of extending the partnership with Hamilton and bringing diversity to the sport. On the eve of the announcement, Wolff said, "We have always been aligned with Lewis that we will 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."
The "Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes" contract saga might have ended for now but questions around it are likely to linger. What does a single-year extension mean for the Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes partnership in the long term? The 2021 season might just feature a few tasty storylines down the road.