Lewis Hamilton: F1 CEO drops hint new Mercedes contract signed and set to be announced | F1 | Sport

New Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali has hinted that Lewis Hamilton has already signed a new contract with Mercedes following a hint from the team themselves earlier this month that a deal was all but done, insisting he looks forward to seeing more of the Brit’s ‘brilliance’ in 2021.

It was confirmed on Wednesday night that Hamilton, who was awarded an MBE in 2008, will receive a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours, one of the United Kingdom’s highest possible honours.

Awarded to those who celebrate significant achievements in certain fields, Hamilton has been recognised after winning his seventh F1 world title this year.

Equalling the great Michael Schumacher on seven drivers’ championships, the Mercedes driver also surpassed the German for race wins and now stands on 95 after a terrific 2020.

The Brit will be given the title ‘Sir’ and the honour follows numerous other individual awards this year including being named Laureus World Sportsman Of The Year, GQ’s Game Changer Of The Year and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

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And Domenicali, the former CEO of Lamborghini who takes over from Chase Carey as F1 CEO from 2021 onwards, has hinted that Hamilton has already put pen to paper to commit himself to the sport next season.

The 35-year-old’s current £40million-a-year deal is set to expire imminently and he had been hoping to ink his new contract before Christmas.

Mercedes tweeted on December 17, ‘#announce’ followed by the ‘coming soon’ emoji and another of a hand putting pen to paper.

The tweet accompanied a Hamilton quote which read: “I plan to be here next year. I want to be here next year. As a team we have more to do together, more to achieve both in the sport and more outside the sport.”

Hamilton’s name is on the FIA entry list for 2021 as a Mercedes driver and Domenicali appears to have suggested that the world champion, who has indicated he could stay in F1 for at least another three years, has already inked a new contract and that an announcement is forthcoming.

Celebrating Hamilton’s knighthood, the incoming F1 CEO said: “Lewis is a true giant of our sport and his influence is huge both in and out of a car.

“What he has achieved is phenomenal with still more to come. All of us at Formula 1 congratulate him on this well deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021.”

Meanwhile Sir Jackie Stewart – one of only three F1 drivers to be knighted alongside Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Stirling Moss – insists he is ecstatic for Hamilton.

Stewart has been a vocal supporter of Hamilton getting a knighthood although as a Monaco resident the current F1 racer has been criticised for his tax affairs.

It is however thought that despite criticism, Hamilton is within the top 5,000 taxpayers due to his Mercedes salary, with the team based in Brackley.

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“I am delighted to hear that Lewis has justifiably been recognised for all the success he has achieved in motorsport,” Stewart told The Telegraph.

“I know how hard it is to win three F1 World Championships, so to win seven is an extraordinary achievement.”

And Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who will have played a key role in tying Hamilton to a new deal with the Silver Arrows, was similarly pleased for Hamilton.

A team statement said: “This year, Lewis equalled Michael Schumacher’s record by winning his seventh World Drivers’ Championship, in addition to becoming the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time in terms of most race wins, pole positions and podium finishes.

“As well as his sporting achievements, Lewis continues to make charitable and philanthropic contributions in the UK and overseas supporting a wide range of causes from improving equality within motorsport, to supporting disadvantaged young people, children’s charities and conservation causes.”

And Wolff declared: “Lewis is one of the very greatest racing drivers of all time and the most successful British sportsperson of his era.

“Around the world, he has long been recognised for his sporting achievement; this year, he combined his excellence on the track with a powerful voice to fight discrimination. In every sense, he led the way in 2020.

“The news that he is to receive a knighthood shows that he is now receiving the recognition he has earned during a career of unparalleled success in motorsport. The UK can be very proud to have a champion and ambassador of the calibre of Sir Lewis Hamilton.”

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