|Lewis Hamilton assured of the best car on the F1 grid for another 3 years|
(GMM) The long wait for official news about Lewis Hamilton's future finally ended on Wednesday.
After months of speculation, delays and public negotiations, media reports said the reigning world champion's new three-year contract will see Hamilton earn about $50 million per season until 2018.
"Mercedes is my home and I couldn't be happier to be staying here for another three years," Hamilton said in a press release confirming the news.
Team boss Toto Wolff said the new deal "recognizes and respects the market value of Lewis and of Mercedes in formula one".
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS is pleased to announce that it has finalized a new contract with Lewis Hamilton for the 2016 to 2018 Formula One seasons inclusive.
Since making his Formula One debut with McLaren in 2007, Lewis has started every one of his 153 Grands Prix with Mercedes-Benz power and this track record includes 36 victories, of which 15 so far were at the wheel of a works Silver Arrow.
Lewis joined MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS in 2013, winning his first race for the Silver Arrows in Hungary that year. In 2014, he claimed 11 race wins on his way to securing his second Formula One World Championship; this title saw him become the first driver since Juan Manuel Fangio to win the World Championship in a works Mercedes-Benz.
Lewis currently leads the 2015 Formula One World Championship by 20 points from team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Lewis Hamilton commented: "Mercedes is my home and I couldn't be happier to be staying here for another three years. This is a company filled with real passionate racers, from the board room to the factory floor, and an incredible hunger to win. Even after the success of last year, that hunger is greater than ever – and it's the same for me, too. The Mercedes car I am driving right now is the best I have ever had in my career; it's just so much fun to be out there every weekend, on the limit and fighting to win at every track. Mercedes-Benz began supporting me in 1998 so I am very proud that this contract means I will mark 20 years with Mercedes in 2018."
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff continued: "Continuity is one of the key factors for delivering success in Formula One and we now have that in place. Lewis enjoyed an historic World Championship season with Mercedes-Benz last year and it was a priority for this season to renew his contract for the next term. We have taken the right amount of time with the process and not rushed ourselves. The result is a strong agreement that will enhance Lewis' association with the Mercedes-Benz brand, and that recognizes and respects the market value of Lewis and of Mercedes in Formula One. Lewis' sporting track record speaks for itself and he is a great personality for the company. Personally, I am looking forward to continuing to race with the strongest driver pairing in Formula One and to more historic achievements together."