Formula One: World champion Hamilton agrees new three-year deal with Mercedes

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix on May 10, 2015 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona. Hamilton has agreed a new three-year contract that will
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix on May 10, 2015 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona. Hamilton has agreed a new three-year contract that will keep him at Mercedes until the end of 2018.  -- PHOTO: AFP

MONACO (Reuters) - Double Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has agreed a new three-year contract that will keep him at Mercedes until the end of 2018, the team announced on Wednesday.

Although no financial details were given, media reports have suggested the Briton is in line for a bumper pay packet amounting to more than US$40 million a year.

"Mercedes is my home and I couldn't be happier to be staying here for another three years," the 30-year-old Briton said in a statement that ended any talk of a move to rivals Ferrari in the near future.

Hamilton, who has a 20-point lead over team-mate Nico Rosberg in the current championship after five races, is already one of the highest earners in the sport along with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

German driver Rosberg, who is chasing a third successive Monaco Grand Prix win this weekend, agreed his own multi-year contract extension last July.

Hamilton's new deal ends months of uncertainty about the driver's future, with speculation swirling since the middle of last year and increasing despite repeated assurances that all was on track.