Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has signed a new contract with Mercedes that will keep him at the team through the 2018 season, in a deal that could be worth £27 million a year.
Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 after six seasons at McLaren. He took a single win in his debut year, followed by a stellar performance in 2014, taking 11 victories on the way to his second title. So far in 2015 he has won three of the five races run and leads the championship by 20 points from teammate Nico Rosberg.
Financial terms were agreed some weeks ago, but there were myriad technicalities to smooth out, hence the delay in the announcement. It’s understood Hamilton will be paid a basic salary, paid in US dollars, of $31 million (around £20m). Bonuses for race wins and championships could bring the total to $40m (£27m).
Assuming he earns the full whack this year, he will be paid over $2m per race and, if he completes every race, nearly $35,000 per lap and over $10,000 per mile. By contrast Wayne Rooney, whose wage is a constant source of outrage in the tabloids, is apparently paid $25.8m for playing at Manchester United. Hamilton is on roughly equal terms with F1’s other massive money earners, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton said: “Mercedes is my home and I couldn’t be happier to be staying for another three years. This is a company filled with real passionate racers and an incredible hunger to win. Even after the success of last year, that hunger is greater that ever – and it’s the same for me too.”
“The 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,” he added.
Continuity is one of the key factors for delivering success in Formula One and we now have that in place,” said Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff. “Lewis enjoyed an historic world championship with Mercedes-Benz last year and it was a priority for this season to renew his contract for the next term. The result is a strong agreement that recognises and respects the market value of Lewis and of Mercedes in Formula One.”
Hamilton had been linked with a move to Ferrari, but as Mercedes place at the top of the F1 table looks unassailable for the forseeable future, it was never really a likely prospect.
Hamilton lines up with the rest of the F1 field for the Monaco Grand Prix this Sunday (24 May). Only Motors will preview the race on Friday.
By Only Motors