As the world speculated and eventually turned sour waiting for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes to announce a new deal, most of us in the Parc Fermé community were all discussing it as well ask today’s news that Mercedes has signed Lewis for 2021 is probably no surprise.
While the champ wanted a large contract with an after-racing role for diversity and inclusion, what was signed is a single-year contract (rare in Lewis’s case but just enough to get his 8th title) with a promise to launch a joint-venture foundation for diversity and inclusion.
So it is give and take and probably the best option for both. Lewis had no where to go in order to win his 8th title, Mercedes held the cards. Mercedes wants another title and Lewis is best placed to deliver that title. As we all discuss in the comment sections of our posts, I think many of us felt a 1-year deal was all that would be done and the long-term diversity ambassador role wasn’t something Mercedes was going to sign up for.
“I am excited to be heading into my ninth season with my Mercedes team-mates,” said Hamilton.
“Our team has achieved incredible things together and we look forward to building on our success even further, while continuously looking to improve, both on and off the track.
“I’m equally determined to continue the journey we started to make motorsport more diverse for future generations and I am grateful that Mercedes has been extremely supportive of my call to address this issue. I’m proud to say we are taking that effort further this year by launching a foundation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the sport.
“I am inspired by all that we can build together and can’t wait to get back on the track in March.”
Toto Wolff said:
“We have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue, but the very unusual year we had in 2020 meant it took some time to finish the process,” said Wolff.
“Together, we have decided to extend the sporting relationship for another season and to begin a longer-term project to take the next step in our shared commitment to greater diversity within our sport.
“Lewis’s competitive record stands alongside the best the sports world has ever seen, and he is a valued ambassador for our brand and our partners. The story of Mercedes and Lewis has written itself into the history books of our sport over the past eight seasons, and we are hungry to compete and to add more chapters to it.”
It will take something very special or extraordinary to deny Mercedes and Hamilton their 8th title this year because we know Valtteri Bottas isn’t going to make a go of it and this leaves some major performance advancements from Red Bull or Ferrari or Lewis not having his head in the game in order to prevent that outcome.
Given that, it’s no wonder viewer numbers were down last year and it will be interesting to see what viewer numbers for 2021 will be.