Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas agree new Mercedes deals

Hamilton has put pen to paper on a bumper new contract

"This contract extension has basically been a formality since Toto and I sat down during the winter", Hamilton explained, "so it's good to put pen to paper, announce it and then get on with business as usual".

Hamilton's Mercedes deal makes him Britain's highest paid sportsman. That's the same tenure as Sebastian Vettel has agreed with Ferrari and Max Verstappen at Red Bull. Ferrari's renewed competitiveness and rare calmness while fighting at the front has delivered an intense battle this season for both the championships.

Mercedes has provisionally confirmed its driver line-up until the end of 2020, the point at which a number of bilateral agreements between the teams and Formula 1 run out, with only Renault committed to the sport beyond that stage.

Wolff hailed Hamilton as one of F1's all-time greats, and praised his professionalism and work ethic above all.

'But I'm super focused on making sure we get everything and more out of the auto and myself this weekend.' Hamilton's attempt to spoil the party has started well.

"We've had our ups and downs through this journey as every relationship does, but it has been one of a lot of growth and I really appreciate Toto [Wolff] in being so patient with me, because I'm not the easiest".

"Most people would not have been given the time-frame I chose to take, but the one thing that shows is the trust we have between each other". I'm not talking to anyone else.

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Reminded of Vettel's Silverstone outburst, Hamilton retorted: 'I see that as a weakness.

"All that matters is the team knows exactly how I perform, what I can do in the auto, what kind of results I can do, and that I can battle with Lewis". "Now we take the English flag and hang it in Maranello".

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the French Grand Prix last month.

'We'll just keep our heads down, keep quiet and focus on trying to do a better job. "I had a contract in place, I just didn't feel like I had to rush".

"I see that as a weakness rather than a whole need to even say anything", said Hamilton today when asked if taking victory on Vettel's home soil would be satisfying.

"I wasn't expecting to feel as excited as I am now in signing this extension".

"I wasn't entirely happy with the only lap I had on the ultrasoft", he admitted. His number of wins is second only to seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher's tally of 91.

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