Lewis Hamilton denies contract rumours amid W14 concerns

It has been suggested that Lewis Hamilton could walk away from F1 at the end of this season if Mercedes are not competitive.

Towards the end of last season both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told the media that the seven-time world champion would sign a contract extension over the winter break.

No such contract was signed, despite constant reassurance from Wolff that Hamilton’s current deal, which expires at the end of this season, would be extended.

With Hamilton having been back with the team for a number of weeks following his off-season adventures in Antarctica, fans are starting to become concerned about the lack of news from Mercedes and Hamilton about the contract situation.

Former F1 champions Jenson Button and Damon Hill have suggested that Hamilton might be waiting to see how competitive Mercedes are this season before signing a new deal, as there would be little point in staying with Mercedes if they are not able to provide him with a car capable of winning a record-breaking eighth world championship.

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Hamilton has now hit out at these suggestions, claiming that he will be still be in Formula 1 next season no matter what.

“It’s mostly people creating rumours without facts. Never helpful,” said the 38-year-old when asked about the contract stalling rumours.

“You would have thought they would both know me by now.

“We had a difficult year last year and I’m still here and whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I’ll still be here.

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“Of course I’d love to start the season with a great car but there is no hold-up with the contract. I’m in a very fortunate position. There will be a time when it will be signed.

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“I’ve got a great relationship with Toto and Mercedes and we always support each other. We’ll get there.”

Toto Wolff has explained that while Mercedes are not exactly where they would like to be right now in terms of competitiveness, he does expect the W14 to be able to win races and mount a title challenge this year.

The Austrian has however admitted that it could take until upgrades arrive in a number of weeks for Mercedes to be able to battle Ferrari and Red Bull at the very top.