BRACKLEY, England — Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will stay with Mercedes for a ninth season after signing a one-year deal, the team said Monday.
Since joining Mercedes for the 2013 season, Hamilton has won six world championship titles — moving him level with Michael Schumacher on a record seven for his career.
“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,” said Hamilton, who has 74 of his 95 career victories for Mercedes.
As part of his new deal, Mercedes and Hamilton have established a charitable foundation in a commitment to “supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport,” the team said.
“I am grateful that Mercedes has been extremely supportive of my call to address this issue,” Hamilton said.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the two parties took time to agree to a new deal because of the effects of the pandemic.
“We have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue,” Wolff said, “but the very unusual year we had in 2020 meant it took some time to finish the process.”
“The story of Mercedes and Lewis,” Wolff added, “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 2021 F1 season begins in Bahrain next month.
In addition to remaining dominant on the track last year, Hamilton, 36, also became a vocal advocate in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, joining a march in London and creating a council to diversity F1. He has been resolute about his outspoken activism, vowing “he won’t give up this platform” after wearing a shirt reading “Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor” before and after his Sept. 13 victory at Mugello.
In a release, Markus Schafer, non-executive chairman for Mercedes, said, “We’re very happy to keep the most successful F1 driver of the current era in the most successful F1 team of the current era. Lewis is not only an incredibly talented driver; he also works very hard for his achievements and is extremely hungry. He shares his passion for performance with the entire team which is why this collaboration has become so successful.
“But Lewis is also a warm-hearted personality who cares deeply about the world around him and wants to make an impact. As a company, Mercedes-Benz shares this sense of responsibility and is proud to commit to a new, joint foundation to improve diversity in motorsport. Opening the sport to under-represented groups will be important for its development in the future and we’re determined to make a positive impact.”