Mercedes finally put an end to speculation about Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 future on Monday when it announced he had signed a new one-year contract with the team.
Following a dragged-out process that was delayed by both Hamilton and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff contracting COVID-19, the two sides finally got the deal across the line, ensuring the seven-time world champion remains on the grid for 2021.
The announcement doused cold water on suggestions Hamilton may not return in 2021, but the details of the deal has led to immediate questions about the future.
Autosport Grand Prix Editor Alex Kalinauckas is joined by Motorsport.com F1 Editor Jonathan Noble and Autosport F1 Reporter Luke Smith to discuss the news on the latest edition of the Autosport Podcast.
Having previously signed multi-year agreements with Mercedes, Hamilton has bucked the trend by only extending by one more year. But with plans for a new foundation to be created to help improve diversity in motorsport, their partnership looks set to extend well into the future.
The announcement also means that with two seats free for 2022, Mercedes looks set to be an active player in the driver market, particularly as it plans for its post-Hamilton future and an anticipated driver salary cap.
Our panel discusses what the deal means for both Hamilton and Mercedes’s futures, as well as lifting the lid on rumours that Hamilton had been chasing a possible veto over future team-mate selection.
You can listen to the episode using the player below, or download on audio platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.