Mercedes have confirmed that Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has agreed a new two-year contract with the team.
The team revealed the news on Twitter and with a follow-up statement on their official website:
"It's good to put pen to paper, announce it and then get on with business as usual," said Hamilton after signing on until 2020 with the Silver Arrows, per Andrew Benson of BBC Sport. "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."
According to Benson, Hamilton's contract will be worth around £30 million a year, although that could rise to £40 million based on bonuses.
The 33-year-old posted the following message on Twitter in the aftermath of the announcement:
Lewis Hamilton @LewisHamilton
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 https://t.co/sXo0UnKeIs
Since making his Formula One debut in 2007, Hamilton has been backed by Mercedes engines, as he started off with the McLaren team. He moved to Mercedes in 2013, with the team dominating in the turbo-hybrid-engine era since 2014.
Mercedes will be delighted to have Hamilton's future secured, as he remains one of the most talented drivers on the grid and is on his way to becoming one of the finest racers in the sport's history.
After winning the world title last season, Hamilton has now been crowned drivers' champion on four occasions in his distinguished career, leaving him level with Alain Prost and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel. Only Michael Schumacher, seven, and Juan Manuel Fangio, five, have more championships than the Briton.
As noted by F1 journalist Will Buxton, Hamilton's new contract is the latest signed to expire in 2020, when significant regulation changes will come into the sport:
Per The Independent, tweaks will be made in aerodynamics with a view to the sport being more competitive, with only three teams winning races in the turbo-hybrid era.
Before then, Hamilton faces a real fight to win his fifth world title, as he trails Vettel by eight points in the race for the 2018 prize. The duo are set to resume their battle this weekend at the German Grand Prix, where Hamilton will be out to tame his rival in his team's own back yard.