Nico Rosberg extends contract with Mercedes through 2018

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany laughs as he answers to reporters in the paddock, at the Hungaroring racetrack, in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, July 21, 2016. The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday July, 24. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Luca Bruno/AP

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Mercedes says Nico Rosberg has signed an extension with the Formula One team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Rosberg, runner-up the past two years in the drivers' championship behind teammate Lewis Hamilton, has 19 wins and 25 pole positions since starting his Formula One career as a test driver for Williams in 2005.

Rosberg joined Mercedes AMG Petronas in 2010 and currently leads the championship with five wins and 168 points. Hamilton has 167 points.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff says ''it was always clear we wanted to continue. Nico is the real deal for us.''

Rosberg said it was a ''special moment for me of course, signing that piece of paper, and I look forward to the future.''

The 31st Hungarian Grand Prix is Sunday at the Hungaroring track.