Valtteri Bottas now signed up to Mercedes for F1 2019

Valtteri Bottas now signed up to Mercedes for F1 2019

Although he now trails rival Sebastian Vettel by 15 points in the Drivers World Championship, Hamilton insists the his team are "more hungry than ever" and "eager to win", adding that his "competitive passion is shared by each member of the group".

Lewis Hamilton has praised Team Principal Toto Wolff over his patience throughout the lengthy contract negotiations, following confirmation of Hamilton's extended two-year Mercedes contract.

"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", Lewis continued.

Although Mercedes did not reveal specifics of the deal, Press Association Sport understands that the four-time world champion will earn up to Stg40 million ($A70.7 million) a year.

Hamilton joined Mercedes' works team in 2013, after spending 7 years racing for the Mercedes-powered McLarens.

"It's good to put pen to paper, announce it, and then get on with business as usual", Hamilton said.

Strangely enough, Hamilton's extension with Mercedes was not the key piece of this season's driver silly season puzzle. The British driver won his first F1 title with McLaren, in 2008, at the age of 23.

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"Toto is a great human being and a great manager and we've got a great relationship and it's just gone from strength to strength", Hamilton told reporters.

Wolff recognised there had been plenty of speculation in recent months and was happy to put it to bed.

Hamilton finally brought an end to his long running contract saga by signing on the dotted line last week.

"I think Charles, one way or the other, will have a great career".

"Strangely, I don't know if it's natural or whatever, but I don't really [get distracted]", Leclerc said. "His relentless drive for self-improvement, his emotional intelligence as a team member and his loyalty to those around him". The Finn has won three races for Mercedes - all in 2017 - and is now fifth in the drivers' championship having retired from the lead in the closing stages in Azerbaijan and from second place in Austria.

The biggest changes in 2021 will centre on engines, budget caps, and wealth distribution, in order to create a more level playing field. Mercedes and Hamilton took their time to discuss the final terms, sign-off and make an announcement; and why not?

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