Formula 1 driver signs $155 million contract that will make him one of the highest-paid athletes alive

Defending Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has signed a new contract to remain with Mercedes, and the deal makes him one of the four highest-paid athletes alive.

Hamilton’s deal is for three years and worth “around £100 million” ($US155 million), according to Paul Weaver of The Guardian.

With an average annual value in the neighbourhood of $US52 million per year, Hamilton will be trailing only Barcelona player Lionel Messi ($US56.3 million) as the highest-paid seasonal-sport athlete and trails boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao among all athletes, according to ESPN.com.

The latter two made about $US209 million and $US142 million respectively for their recent fight in Las Vegas.

Hamilton, who is making $US31 million per year on his current deal, jumps ahead of rival Sebastian Vettel ($US50 million) as the highest-paid driver in the world.

Hamilton is a two-time F1 champion, having previously won the title in 2008 while driving for McLaren. He joined Mercedes in 2013.

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