Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes driver signs new deal worth up to £27m

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is a two-time world champion, having won the title in 2008 and 2014

Lewis Hamilton has signed a new three-year contract at Mercedes that could be worth up to £27m a year.

The 30-year-old Briton has been with the team since 2013 after six years at McLaren and won his second world title last year.

"I couldn't be happier to be staying for another three years," he said of the deal that will take him up to 2018.

Hamilton leads team-mate Nico Rosberg by 20 points in the current championship.

He had been linked with a move to Ferrari, despite saying in March that a new contract was "99.6%" done, with negations said to be completed and just "legal stuff" remaining at that point.

It is understood Hamilton will earn a basic salary, paid in US dollars, of $31m (£20.9m) plus extensive bonuses.

Hamilton at Mercedes
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Depending on how many races he wins, and whether he becomes world champion, these bonuses could easily take his annual earnings well over $40m (£27m).

The overall value of Hamilton's deal is fundamentally similar to F1's two other big earners and multiple champions, McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Since joining Mercedes, Hamilton - who won his first world title with McLaren in 2008 - has won 15 races, 11 of those coming as he beat Rosberg to the 2014 title. He has won three of the first five races of this season.

"The Mercedes car I am driving right now is the best I have ever had in my career," he added.

"It's just so much fun to be out there every weekend, on the limit and fighting to win at every track."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: "Lewis enjoyed an historic world championship season with Mercedes-Benz last year and it was a priority for this season to renew his contract for the next term.

"Lewis' sporting track record speaks for itself and he is a great personality for the company.

"Personally, I am looking forward to continuing to race with the strongest driver pairing in Formula 1 and to more historic achievements together."

BBC's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson
The announcement of Lewis Hamilton's new contract with Mercedes has been coming for weeks.
Financial terms were agreed more than a month ago and the delay since has been about sorting out the fine details that define Formula 1 driver contracts.
Despite rumours linking him to Ferrari, there was never any real prospect of him going anywhere else.
Hamilton refers to Mercedes as his home - he has used their engines since he started in F1 eight years ago - and his decision has been informed by a quest for performance.
There are better-paid drivers in F1 - at least in terms of salary before bonuses are taken into account - but racing for Mercedes is as close to a guarantee of success in the three years of his contract term as he can get.