Lewis Hamilton Extends Mercedes-AMG Petronas Contract Until 2018
Lewis Hamilton knows better than to question a good thing. It’s safe to say that last year’s season went pretty well for him, resulting as it did in his second F1 World Championship. He is also, at the time of this writing, the points leader for this year’s season. The second-place driver is his teammate, Nico Rosberg, who also finished second place in last year’s championship. This should tell you a little bit how Mercedes-AMG Petronas has been doing lately, and why Lewis Hamilton has just extended his contract though the 2018 season.
Official figures weren’t released and there has been a lot of speculation on exactly what the deal is worth, with some estimates putting it as high as $140 million over the 2016-2018 seasons. That’s a lot of money, but success like this hasn’t come around very often for Mercedes, and team is evidently willing to pay to hold on to it. Just to give you an idea of rare it is for a Mercedes works driver to win a Championship, the last one was Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955. So this deal with Hamilton is advantageous for both parties.
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Why it matters
Mercedes is not completely without any post-1955 bragging rights. Lewis Hamilton’s previous World Championship was behind the wheel of a McLaren that was powered by a Mercedes engine, same goes for Mika Hakkinen’s two championships, while Jenson Button won with a Mercedes-powered Brawn.
In fact, the past 20 years of F1 has been dominated by just three engine builders: Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas cars clearly have good engines, but that counts for very little without good drivers, so we’re very eager to see how the next few years of Formula 1 play out.
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