Championship leader Nico Rosberg has committed his immediate future to Mercedes, agreeing a “multi-year” extension with the outfit.
The deal is believed to cover the next three seasons with a reported worth of €55 million.
The news coincides with his and the team’s home event, the German Grand Prix, taking place this weekend at Hockenheim.
Rosberg didn’t pass on the opportunity to emphasise his patriotism in the wake of team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s claims that he is more Monegasque than German, having spent the majority of his life in the principality, declaring “As a German, the heritage of Mercedes-Benz is very special for me.”
The German has been with the Silver Arrows since their acquisition of Brawn GP at the conclusion of 2009.
Rosberg has led the standings this season following all but one of nine events, presently four points clear of Hamilton.
Prior to the British Grand Prix, the German had finished in the top two at each event to lead by 29 points, but the first retirement of his campaign and Hamilton’s subsequent victory has the championship race alive once more.
Each of Rosberg’s six victories to date have come during his Mercedes tenure, the first coming at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, having waited 111 Grands Prix for the privilege.
Indeed, he was unlucky not to have won the infamous 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where he finished second to Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard having benefitted from a deliberate crash and subsequent safety car triggered by team-mate, Nelson Piquet
Rosberg made his debut in 2006 with Williams, finishing seventh and claiming the fastest lap at his first race.
The German remained there for the next four seasons, enjoying several podium appearances with the limited packages at his disposal, and he was more than ready to make a step up by the time of his move.
Rosberg’s stock rose considerably as a result of defeating seven-time champion Michael Schumacher during each of their three seasons as team-mates, but it has been since Hamilton’s arrival that he has earned genuine recognition.
The appraisal even caused some to reconsider the success of Schumacher’s comeback, with many remarking that he did well to compete with his much younger countryman.
The announcement is the culmination of a big seven days for the 29-year old, having married his partner last week. Rosberg will want to consummate these milestones with victory on home soil, as he seeks to re-establish himself as the man to beat.