Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Vettel happy to continue Hamilton rivalry through to 2020

Vettel happy to continue Hamilton rivalry through to 2020

Hamilton will be 36 when his megabucks deal, which makes him the highest paid driver in the history of Formula One, expires.

Hamilton, who will be 35 years old in 2020, could seek a further extension or decide to hang his helmet; in which case, this could be the last of his contracts as a racing driver in Formula 1.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff added: "We are very pleased to extend Valtteri's contract with Mercedes for another season at least - and to be able to confirm an unchanged driver line-up for 2019, ahead of our home race in Hockenheim".

"This is not the easiest track to get everything right, there are many types of corner and long straights, and I think with this generation of cars we'll be very fast here". Overall, his 65 F1 wins places him second on the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher (91 wins). Hamilton clarified he had never actively looked for an opportunity elsewhere and, having committed to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff at early stage, did not use other offers to bargain. "Although we have enjoyed so much success together since 2013, Mercedes is hungrier than ever".

Hamilton's new contract goes to the end of the Concorde Agreement, with a new set of rules and regulations for F1 set for 2021 onward. But of course, there could also be a possibility that Hamilton could do a Nico Rosberg; win a title and announce a shock retirement before 2020.

Lewis Hamilton re-signs with Mercedes until 2020

"The competitive passion that burns bright inside me is shared by every single member of this group - always chasing the next improvement and digging even deeper to make sure we come out on top", he said.

Vettel, the victor of four races this season and eight points clear of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the standings, agreed it was all about the money.

Sebastian Vettel, who now leads Hamilton by eight points in the championship before this weekend's race at Hockenheim, is thought to earn $40 million (£30 million).

"Mercedes has become Lewis' home in Formula One and his story is linked forever with the silver and green of Mercedes-AMG Petronas".

"Germans are a bit spoiled when it comes to that, because we've always been successful, we've always been around...but I think ultimately it's the commercial aspects that play the biggest part".

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