LEWIS HAMILTON has confirmed his future in Formula One after signing a mega £100million contract extension with Mercedes.
There had been rampant speculation that Hamilton could call time on his career at the end of the season or make a dramatic team switch to the likes of Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton has signed a contract extension at MercedesCredit: Rex
Hamilton’s new deal will keep him in F1 into his 40sCredit: PA
However, the seven-time world champion has now confirmed he will carry on into his 40s.
His new deal with Mercedes, where he has won six titles, has nailed him down for a seat in both the 2024 and 2025 F1 seasons.
And this deal has also been extended to team-mate George Russell.
Mercedes announced the British duo will continue as their drivers for both seasons.
SunSport understands Hamilton’s deal will see him bag around £50m-a-year.
On the new deal, 38-year-old Hamilton said: “We dream everyday of being the best and we have dedicated the past decade together to achieving that goal.
“Being at the top does not happen overnight or over a short period of time, it takes commitment, hard work and dedication and it’s been an honour to earn our way into the history books with this incredible team.
“We have never been hungrier to win. We have learnt from every success but also every setback. We continue to chase our dreams, we continue to fight no matter the challenge and we will win again.
Mercedes confirmed both Hamilton and George Russell will continue until 2025Credit: PA
“I’m grateful to the team who have supported me both on and off the track. Our story isn’t finished, we are determined to achieve more together and we won’t stop until we do.”
While he is joined by icon Michael Schumacher on seven F1 titles, Hamilton stands first for most race wins, most pole positions, most consecutive seasons with a pole, the most podium finishes and most career points.
His success on the circuit has allowed Hamilton to break down barriers and cultivate a mouth-watering portfolio.
He has an estimated net worth of £271m, with properties, fashion brand endorsements and a stunning collection of supercars to boot.
Hertfordshire-born Hamilton has even extended his reach into film and TV projects, working as a producer in an F1 film starring Brad Pitt.
Romance has also been a hot topic for Hamilton this season, linked with a budding relationship with music superstar Shakira.
Hamilton remains in the hunt for a record-breaking eighth drivers title after he was controversially pipped to the crown by Max Verstappen in final race of the 2021 season.
But Mercedes have struggled in the new era of car designs, with Russell picking up the teams only race win over the last two seasons which have largely been dominated by Red Bull.
But team principal Toto Wolff insisted the team’s current driver line-up can lead them back to glory.
He said: “Continuing with our current driver line-up was a straightforward decision.
Hamilton has an incredibly successful partnership with Toto Wolff at MercedesCredit: PA
Only Michael Schumacher can match Hamilton in terms of drivers titlesCredit: AFP
“We have the strongest pairing on the grid and both drivers are playing a crucial role in the team to move us forward.
“The strength and stability they provide will be key building blocks for our future success.
“Our partnership with Lewis is one of the most successful in the sport’s history. It was always a formality that we would continue together – and it’s energising for us all to be confirming that publicly.
“His qualities as a pure racing driver are illustrated by his remarkable track record; but over our years together, he has grown to become a pillar and leader of our team.
“Those leadership qualities are crucial as we focus on fighting for world championships again.
“As F1’s biggest global star, he has also played a key role in shaping our commitments to diversity, inclusion and sustainability, that will be foundations for our success in the years ahead.
”George is a leading light of his generation. He has repaid the faith we showed in him when promoting him to a race seat in 2022.
“His maiden pole position in Hungary and first Grand Prix victory in São Paulo were standout moments last season. As a driver, he combines razor-sharp speed with the tenacity of a true fighter.
“But he brings, too, an intelligence and attention to detail that will help him to continue to grow, develop and improve further.
“He is a natural fit to the team and we are delighted to have extended the relationship for the coming years.”
The new deal means Hamilton’s tenure at the Brackley-based constructor will take him up to 13 years with them after leaving McLaren.
Russell, 25, only joined the team in 2022 after spending his first three seasons in the sport with Williams Racing.