Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg has signed a ‘multi year’ contract extension to remain with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team. The widely expected announcement was made ahead of the German’s home Grand Prix this weekend.
Rosberg – who celebrated his marriage last weekend – has driven for Mercedes since it returned to Formula 1 as a full works outfit in 2010. He gave the team its first pole position and race win in its current iteration in 2012, and currently leads a Silver Arrows 1-2 in the Drivers’ Championship standings with a four-point lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The announcement of his re-signing has been expected since the Monaco Grand Prix in May, where rumours of a new multi-year agreement being inked first surfaced after he claimed back-to-back wins on the streets of the Principality.
The timing of the announcement – a German driver in a German team at its home race – is hardly surprising.
“I am very proud to drive the Formula 1 Silver Arrow of the modern era,” Rosberg said of his new deal,
“As a German, the heritage of Mercedes-Benz is very special for me, and I am proud to be able to represent the best car brand around the world. It has been a difficult road to get to where we are now – but everybody kept believing and, thanks to the fantastic support from Mercedes-Benz, we are now leading the way in F1.
“There has been big progress during the past year, building up our structure, management and capability for the future. We have an awesome team and I am confident that we have the right people in place at every level. I’m looking forward to the next years together, when we will keep pushing to win even more races – and, hopefully, championships.”
“Nico has been part of the Silver Arrows project since day one and he has a big stake in the development of the team since 2010,” Toto Wolff, the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport boss, added.
“His speed, commitment and focus have all helped to give clear direction and to drive the team forward. With his performances in 2014, Nico has demonstrated to the outside world what we knew already in the team: that he is one of the very top drivers in Formula 1.
“This new contract brings us important stability and continuity for the future and I am delighted to be able to make the announcement in time for the home race of Mercedes-Benz and Nico in Hockenheim.”
Germany’s Bild newspaper claims that the 29-year-old’s new contract is for a further two years – with an option on a third year – and features a hefty pay rise to US$25 million (€18.3M) a year.