Hamilton finally renews contract with Mercedes

Hamilton finally renews contract with Mercedes

Hamilton and Mercedes seem to have finally sorted out the complications and agreed on a contract for the reigning World Champion to stay with the German team. On February 8th, just a month and some days shy of the first race of the season, Mercedes and F1 posted on their social media pages the big announcement of Hamilton signing with Mercedes again. 

The contract itself however is quite a weird one. The historic partnership will in fact only continue for the 2021 season, since the contract is only a one year deal. It may sound strange that seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton didn’t wish to stay with the best team on the grid for more than a single year, and vice versa for Mercedes to not want to hold on to such a talented and established driver. 

The truth is that both parties are looking to have leverage on the other by the time the 2022 season comes around. In 2022, there will be major changes in the regulations for the cars, which could potentially shake things up in terms of which team is fastest. 

The very competitive British driver can decide (based on results and development) where he wishes to continue his career in 2022, as any of the teams on the grid would gladly have him on board. 

Mercedes on the other hand could promote talented young drivers to fill Hamilton’s vacant seat, if he’s to not renew his contract next year. George Russell is the first of many who have been linked to be the successors of Hamilton, and who has proved himself to be a blistering fast and competitive driver. 

There are both benefits and negatives for both parties in this contract. A one year contract is a quick fix to patch the hole, giving the two breathing room to clear their heads and have some time to make a decision. However, it’s important to remember that teams and drivers are both their own people who have to somewhat look out for themselves and be selfish in a sport so competitive. 

Surely however, the history between Toto Wolff and Lewis will play a big role in terms of “who might throw the other under the bus”. It’s unexpected for Hamilton to not keep his seat if he wishes to stay past 2021, as Mercedes would probably prioritize their lead man over any other driver they might want to bring in. 

As for Hamilton, he wouldn’t leave a team of so many individuals who have collectively worked together so hard in the past seven years unless a really, really good option opens up. And even if that was the case, he would make sure Mercedes has a good fix for him, and that both parties are happy to split up. 

All of this of course, is speculation for next year, as we still have an entire season before any of this talk becomes true. Mercedes will be defending their title with all that they’ve got, as contenders Red Bull and Mclaren look fierce as ever. Lewis will be looking to win his 8th World championship in 2021, making him the undisputed most successful driver in the history of the sport.