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F1's Lewis Hamilton signs 1-year deal to stay at Mercedes

This Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 file photo, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after wining the Formula One race in Bahrain   -  
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Giuseppe Cacace/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

United Kingdom

The Formula One world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton is staying with Mercedes for a ninth season, ending a long-running contract saga.

The 36-year-old has been out of contract since his last deal worth over 50 million US dollars expired on December 31.

Since joining Mercedes for the 2013 season, Hamilton has won six world championship titles — moving him to level with Michael Schumacher on a record seven for his career.

“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,” said Hamilton, who has won 74 races with Mercedes.

But both parties agreed to just a one year contract.

Under the new deal, they have also established a charitable foundation in a commitment to “supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport.”

“I am grateful that Mercedes has been extremely supportive of my call to address this issue,” Hamilton said.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the two parties took time to agree to a new deal because of the effects of the pandemic.

“We have always been aligned with Lewis that we would continue,” Wolff said, “but the very unusual year we had in 2020 meant it took some time to finish the process.”

The British driver will be aiming for an 8th world champion title as the F1 season begins in Bahrain next month.

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