BREAKING NEWS: Hamilton agrees two-year Mercedes extension
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has agreed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes.
There has been persistent speculation over whether the Briton, who has won three of the last four drivers' championship titles, would agree to a new deal.
Mercedes, though, have long since maintained their confidence that the two parties will come to terms and announced on Thursday that Hamilton will be with the team for at least the next two seasons, the deal reportedly worth £40million.
Hamilton said: "This contract extension has basically been a formality since [Mercedes CEO] Toto [Wolff] and I sat down during the winter, so it's good to put pen to paper, announce it and then get on with business as usual.
"I have been part of the Mercedes racing family for 20 years and I have never been happier inside a team than I am right now. We are on the same wavelength both on and off track - and I am looking forward to winning more in the future and shining even more light on the three-pointed star.
"I'm very confident that Mercedes is the right place to be over the coming years. Although we have enjoyed so much success together since 2013, Mercedes is hungrier than ever - from Dr [Dieter] Zetsche and the board members at the top of Daimler, through Toto and the team management, to every single person I meet in the corridors of Brixworth and Brackley.
I have been in the Mercedes Family since 1998. I am forever grateful for their continued support, love and protection over these years. I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved together and even more excited for the future! @MercedesAMGF1 #grateful #letsgo #announcelewis pic.twitter.com/sXo0UnKeIs
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 19, 2018
"The competitive passion that burns bright inside me is shared by every single member of this group - always chasing the next improvement and digging even deeper to make sure we come out on top. I can't wait to see what we can achieve together in the next two and a half seasons."