Lewis Hamilton aligns with Vettel and Verstappen – stays at Mercedes F1 until 2020
Mercedes
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Jul 2018   |  11:12 am GMT  |  115 comments

Lewis Hamilton finally put pen to paper and has confirmed a two-year extension to his Mercedes contract, to the end of 2020.

The four time world champion has enjoyed huge success with the team and the extension was considered a formality. The deal runs to the end of 2020 and aligns him with Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, who are also signed up to the same point with Ferrari and Red Bull respectively.

It also aligns F1’s leading drivers who are all tied to their teams to the end of 2020, which is when the current bilateral team agreements with F1 expire. Currently the teams are not bound into F1 beyond that date.

The rules for F1 post 2020 are being discussed currently but it is taking time. It is also linked to the commercial picture around F1, with budget caps and revenue sharing part of the wider discussion.

Now this has been done, it’s anticipated that Mercedes will confirm Valtteri Bottas as his team mate in due course.

“This contract extension has basically been a formality since Toto and I sat down during the winter, so it’s good to put pen to paper, announce it and then get on with business as usual,” said Hamilton, who is understood to have signed during the Silverstone weekend.

“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. We are on the same wavelength both on and off track – and I am looking forward to winning more in the future and shining even more light on the three-pointed star. I’m very confident that Mercedes is the right place to be over the coming years.

Although we have enjoyed so much success together since 2013, Mercedes is hungrier than ever – from Dr Zetsche and the board members at the top of Daimler, through Toto and the team management, to every single person I meet in the corridors of Brixworth and Brackley. The competitive passion that burns bright inside me is shared by every single member of this group – always chasing the next improvement and digging even deeper to make sure we come out on top. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in the next two-and-a-half seasons.”

What do you think? What will happen after 2020? Leave your comments below

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1

Toto Wolff has said that he respects the contract that Max has with Red Bull and that he will talk to Max in 2020 when his contract expires. So I guess Max to Mercedes if Mercedes has a better car and engine than Red Bull in 2020.

2

So for next year, the top teams are yet again locked out for Alonso. It p***es me off massively that one of our sports greatest talents and characters is going to be either slogging away at the back or racing in a second rate series in the US. Big up the 500 all you want, it’s not that well regarded to the majority of motorsport fans. Regardless of whether you like him or not and who cares if Ham matched him in 2007 – Lewis is a rare beast – he absolutely needs to be in a top car, for the benefit of F1. Damn it!

3

I agree he deserves to be in a top car. He was stupid to engineer his own way out of Ferrari. They were way off in 2014, yes, but they are one of the teams with the resources to make big jumps up the order, as we’ve now seen. He should have stayed and waited out the Merc years there. I can understand why he didn’t feel like waiting again, as he had already done in the Red Bull era. Going to McLaren-Honda was more a hope and a prayer move.

I usually put Lewis & Fernando in a class of two in terms of being really quick drivers with amazing racing instincts. Race pace is most important, and then ability to race hard without taking yourself out of races. The latter bit is where Max falls down at the moment.

4

I must both agree and disagree with what I have read here.

Do I think it was the smart choice for Hamilton to stay with Mercedes ? Yes ,that was a no brainer, Mercedes has very deep pockets which they are willing to reach into and there is nothing more that can be asked of a constructor.

As to Mercedes needing Hamilton ,NO, not at all.

Hamilton is a fine driver but, he needs Mercedes much more then they need him. They showed with the Rosberg 2016 driver’s title to go with another constructor’s title that they did not need Hamilton,never did and never will.

As far as Hamilton bringing popularity to Mercedes you must be kidding. I can’t speak to Hamilton’s popularity in England or Europe save for what little I have read and I have read that for someone who has had so many wins he is NOT very popular but, I don’t speak to non-US race fans .r.

As to Hamilton’s popularity and presence in the US. I must laugh. From what I have seen he is anything but, well liked. He has some fans because anyone who wins a title will have fans in the US. Casual fans here generally root for whoever wins but, as far as helping to make Mercedes popular : NO.

Many here see him as someone who always has an excuse when things don’t go his way and any moderately serious fan recognizes that he has insulted our intelligence with patently foolish assertions like claiming that Raikkonen’s contact with him at Silverstone was part of a Ferrari ” tactic”.

Further,many here don’t like the fact that he has never adopted the ” we win as a team and lose as a team” position that even a complainer like Vettel is often heard to say .

Bottom line : Hamilton has done NOTHING for Mercedes except to accept loads of money from them for doing what any competant driver could have done : win with a car that’s better than the competition’s .

As an aside ,Mercedes should have fired Hamilton long ago,given his seat to an upcoming driver at a fraction of the cost and then after winning both titles ran an ad which pointed out the driver’as rise once he took the wheel of a Mercedes.

Note that Bottas drove in 80 grand prix and never won a race but once he signed with Mercedes it took only 4 races for him to reach the top step .

5

I think generally Hamilton is pretty popular with the British fans as can be seen at Silverstone.

I’ve always struggled to back him as much as I probably should because whilst I totally acknowledge he’s the best driver, in his early days in the sport especially the TV coverage was geared towards forcing us to support him a little more than I felt was necessary.

6

#RIKDI.

1) Yes any top driver in that Merc could have won the title and I know for the non Lewis fans it can be really annoying that he will never admit it and his fans believe it is all him.

2) No it would not be good PR to say “ look we can bring in a rookie and make him a world champion” because for one Merc want to at least look like they are racing rather than killing the sport.

3)Like it or not Hamilton is part of the Merc image and I am sure Ferrari would love to get his ipod generation ( hey man look good on the cat walk and love your music) fan base to add to the technically aware motorsport orientated fans they already have

4) He has a massive PR effort behind him to cover up the crass comments , constant whinging, challenging the team when things are going wrong, confussing himself with an engineer etc. etc. so Merc really aren’t worried

So do Merc F1 need Hamilton? Not really but Merc PR would hate to lose him. Hence you could say he is staying because of style over substance.

7

Rikdi, quite a rant, a mixture of your own opinions, the opinions of your very small circle of friends, some wild speculation some even wilder assumptions and some flat out lies as well. I think the point you have taken a lot of words to get to is, you don’t like Lewis….

8

#Tim Lots of allegations from you but no evidence. You once again do a great job of attacking the poster if you can not disprove the post.

Standard operating procedure for the Hamilton PR machine.

9

Jon. What evidence would you like me to provide? I can back up all the points I make, can you?

10

Very small circle of friends? Prove it or admit you are just attacking the poster.

11

Boo – vintage formula 1 years are when two of the best go head-to-head. Why do we still talk about Senna v Prost in 1988 or Hamilton v Alonso in 2007?

Do we talk about Schmacher v Barrichello, hakkinenn v Coulthard, vettel v Webber or hamilton v Rosberg in the same breath?

Hamilton should have gone to Ferrari. Our grandkids would still be talking about Vettel v Hamilton. It would have been f1 folklore. If only …

12

Jsl, we do talk about Schumacher vs Hakkinen and Schumacher vs Alonso though….

13

Very true – they were classic battles. But I think when two of the greatest lock horns, with equal machinery, it goes to the core of competition. Simply, finding out who is the fastest. No excuses.

14

Jsl, having two top guys in the same team should remove any excuses or doubt about who is the best, but there are always accusations of favourable treatment for one or the other, we had that with Senna and Prost, with Alonso and Lewis and we even have it now with Verstappen and Ricciardo. If Seb went to Merc people would say the team favoured the incumbent, and if Lewis went to Ferrari they would say the same thing.

15

I think Merchave done the numbers before signing up LH. He is a serious player in the sporting world who reaches out to millions of fans all over the world.

With that in mind no wonder Merc want him for the future

16

Add Bottas while you’re at it. He has just signed for 2019 with an option to stay on in 2020.

17

Is that a typo , ? “VERSTAPPEN – STAYS AT MERCEDES F1 UNTIL 2020”

18

A no-brainer for both parties. But especially for Mercedes. Let’s not under-estimate Lewis’ value to the Mercedes brand. Not so long ago, they were seen as the safe but boring choice of rich elderly men and German taxi-drivers. BMW were clearly the cooler brand and the more obvious choice for serious drivers. These days, thanks in no small part to F1 and to Lewis, Mercedes is a seriously cool brand, and with their AMG halo cars, seen as a proper sporting option. Lewis helps Mercedes reach out to a completely new audience and is therefore a bargain even at 40 million.

19

You must be very young…..you need to get off facebook and get out more. Maybe go to a library and learn about the history of Mercedes, F1 and motor racing in general.

20

Ouch. A bit rude. I am perfectly aware of Mercedes motor racing history. But that’s what it was – history. Fangio, Moss etc. I am talking about recent times. Mercedes was indisputably behind other brands like BMW and Audi. That’s why they went back into F1 as a full manufacturer.

21

Feel free to educate us young whipersnapers John…

22

Do you have some market research to back up this astounding claim? My husband and I have a CLA 45 AMG, our 28 year old son drives a BMW 4 Series. In his words, “Mercedes are for old people”.

I doubt many people make a decision on what’s parked in their garage based on Lewis Hamilton. We’re huge Ricciardo fans but wouldn’t drink Red Bull if you paid us.

As I said, I’d love to see some serious research on this.

23

Research : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-motor-f1-monaco-survey/hamilton-most-popular-driver-in-f1-fan-survey-idUSKBN18M2IK

You raise a great point about red bull. It prodded my thinking of whether I’d buy a ferrari if they win this year! If only the choice was so straight forward, and not a financial constraint!

Which brings me to my point that product purchase is only one objective, brand recognition is the other.

Must dash … Need to buy my kimoa sunnies and Richard Miller watch before the store closes.

24

For what little it is worth aussieF1 I’d say chrisG is right. Of course none of us do a significant amount of research on this topic but one can be fairly sure that Mercedes marketing people do. I think that if another driver e.g. DR had a more marketable profile he would have been signed and LH would be out. Like him or not Lewis makes Mercedes cooler with younger people and for some their aspirations will align accordingly with the brand. That is how marketing strategies work.

25

With the changes slated for F1 over the next couple of yrs….. probably have a better chance of picking the lotto numbers.

But it will be interesting and will no doubt fill many many forums with countless opinions.

26

If no body moves in the big 3, i may well fall asleep and never turn on the telly again…

27

Just realised it was Merc who bought HAM to F1, not Mclaren or Ron Dennis

28

#teamlh gonna be around for at least another two more years. Haters rejoice!!

29

I think Ricciardo should take McLaren’s offer, if it actually exists, and commit long term and build the team around him. Ricciardo is not going to win a championship with Red Bull as long as Max stays, as he is slightly faster and also the team’s favourite. So take the offer and the huge pay and hope Alonso retires soon and McLaren picks up it’s performance. If that doesn’t work out atleast he is much richer.

As for Leclerc, people saying that he does not have enough experience to join Ferrari in 2019; career will be ruined if he can’t match Vettle; are all BS. Most likely reason is that it will destabilise Vettel (probably also has a say in Ferrari’s drivers lineup) and maybe cost Ferrari a shot at the WDC. After all, Hamilton as a rookie managed to marginally beat his illustrious teammate, and look at his accomplishments thus far.

30

Bad move Lewis, you should do a Rosberg and quit at your peak, seems you prefer to do a Kimi or Massa.

With any luck you will get to keep Bottas as a team mate, at your age you dont need anyone faster.

Good luck, you will need it.

31

Your usual standard of comment I see.

Can you regale myself and the gallery with your opinion that Hamilton needed team orders in order to win by over a minute at Silverstone ’08? I like that one.

32

Your usual standard of comment I see.

Thank you my good man, Silverstone 08? Heikki did let him through.

Also they did a standing wet start for Ham at his home GP, why do they only do that when Hamilton is not on pole?

I think Kimi would have won that race if not for Ferrari pit stop blunder.

33

Pretty dull stuff,the great man does not like being challenged

34

Care to list another driver with as many champion teammates?

I’ll save you the trouble … only Prost went up against more (Lauda, K Rosberg, Senna, Mansell, D Hill).

35

Krb, I assumed Scott was talking about Vettel or Alonso…..

36

Care to list another driver with as many champion teammates?

F1 world drivers champs arent necessarily the best on the grid at the time, Hamilton only just beat Alonso (unfair penalty at Hungary helped) but if you remember Mexico 2017, Hamilton struggled to pass the ageing Alonso in a Mclaren Honda!

37

Jimothy, you’re really scraping the barrel….

38

Predictable and boring. Forty million because he’s the devil they know. And maybe also to perpetuate the myth that the driver is more special than the car.

39

Wroaap. Forty million because he’s the best out there, and Mercedes know it.

40
Tornillo Amarillo

So the 3 main drivers are locked until 2020 (Ham-Vet-Max).

So the 3 second drivers should also sign to match for 1 more year (Kimi-Bot-Ric).

In 2019 they will see if the teams will replace one of them, just to extend the contracts until 2020… 🙂

A really silly season.

41

Virtually no consequential musical chairs.

Seems like we will not see any major changes in 3 top teams (+Renault) next year inspite of expiring contracts – only exception (long shot) may be Raikonnen. Guess that was expected.

Folks whose partners are doing well but they are in deep trouble are Grosjean, Ericsson, Hartley & Vandoorne.

Alonso is the only one who could voluntarily leave. He is not going to win anything in a McLaren.

Cannot imaging Williams changing line-up as long as the 2 boys brings funding.

42

Tthe “bringers of the funding” may jump ship especially if they have a performace clause! Where Williams would find two more drivers with more money than sense could be a tricky one for Claire to deal with. Of course the Germany upgrades may turn the Williams into a midfield runner then all will be well.

43

Only one of the 3 drivers has an “unlimited replenishment of toys in pram” clause inserted in their contract though. 🤔

44

Yeah that Vettel is one big cry baby

45

Yeah alonso. Dont know why teams put up with his arrogant ass.

46

Cheesypoof, always amusing to see an Alonso fan mocking Lewis for chucking toys out of prams. Pots and kettles?

47

Glad to hear he’s staying, definitely has a few more good ones in him. Bottas likely to be resigned as Lewis’s teammate, but I’m still crossing my fingers that Merc might sign Ricciardo. Bad business move, but it would be great for us fans 🙂

48

Fantastic news. Where would the rest of us be without the gift that keeps giving, his adhoring fans and his persistant web blogging PR team.

Now I’ll just wait for some sarcastic comment from the PR team.

49

So by the end of 2020 LH will be a 7 time world champ. He’ll then have his pick of teams to go for the record breaking 8th title in 2021 having assessed who’s looking the best bet with the new rules. Judging by his decision to move to Merc I expect he’ll get the next decision right too

50
Tornillo Amarillo

What about the midfield?

Could Perez go to Haas-Ferrari, French Ocon to Renault, Sainz to McLaren-Renault and Stroll to Force India-Mercedes?

51

Stroll to Force India. I am sure his entrepreneurial father is smelling an investment given mallya’s financial difficulties.

Can’t see Ocon moving, given his Mercedes links.

My guess is Sainz stays put for now.

My question now is – will Vandorne, Ericsson, Hartley and Grojean be out of F1 next year? Surely, their reputations are now tarnished?

52

Tornillo, Force India said yesterday that they had activated their option on Esteban for next year, and he was definitely staying. Expect to see him in yellow overalls next year then….!

53

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes on re-signing – if it ain’t broke (and it clearly ain’t) then why fix it 🙂

54

Drivers should make deals until 2021, not 2020. That way you get to see a full season on the new regulations. Then you get to see the order. Starting a new contract on the first year of new regulations doesn’t seem right.

But I’m sure I’m missing something.

55

Mercedes aren’t currently signed up to F1 beyond 2020. It would be odd to sign a driver for a sport you’re not yet competing in.

56

I wondered if anybody was going to talk about Mercedes not signed up beyond 2020 and the fact that they are signed for FE beyond that date.

Wolff said only last week that deep thinking was needed when looking into the future of Mercedes in either F1 or FE or both.

It seems an interesting situation to me that Mercedes have no drivers signed nor contract signed with Liberty for beyond 2020.

James – do you think Mercedes will be in F1 in 2021?

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