Lewis Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes is set to end following the 2023 season’s conclusion, but the seven-time F1 world champion has reassured fans that he’s staying put at the Silver Arrows. The 38-year-old hasn’t recorded a win since Saudi Arabia in 2021 and last season was one of his toughest to date, finishing behind teammate George Russell in the drivers’ standings.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has insisted that if the team is to get back to its best, Hamilton will play a key part. Wolff also said that Hamilton doesn’t need persuading over a contract extension, with the F1 driver echoing those comments himself.
“I’m staying where I am,” Hamilton said on his contract situation ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix. “It just takes time. We just had this break, as well. In this break, no one has been thinking about it. Hopefully, it will be done soon.”
When asked what was missing, Hamilton added: “I can’t tell you. There’s always something missing.”
There were rumors that Ferrari was keen on bringing the Brit on board for the 2024 season. However, both Ferrari and Hamilton have poured cold water on those claims. “Well, I think it is the same situation with Lewis that it has been for the last 10 years,” Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur said.
“They are in discussion and I don’t know whether there is an issue or not. Honestly, I’m not focused at all on this. I’m focused on the development of the team and the discussion is between Lewis and Toto and not myself.”
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F1 returns this weekend for its 13th race of the season and Red Bull has yet to be beaten. Three-peat-chasing world champion Max Verstappen has claimed ten victories while Sergio Perez won in Saudi and Azerbaijan.
Hamilton says he’s preparing to challenge Verstappen’s dominance. “I definitely feel like I’m ready to try to prepare myself for when the car is ready to be able to challenge and beat Max,” he said. “I think, at the moment, the only way currently we could probably do that is just to capitalize on any potential mistakes, which they don’t tend to make. But if they do, I’ll be there.”
He added: “Of course, we know performance-wise, we’re not going to blitz these races, but maximizing points every weekend, holding on to second in the Constructor’s Championship, and chasing down Perez … that’s my goal.”
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