Lewis Hamilton hints at Mercedes contract decision ahead of Australian GP

Lewis Hamilton is reportedly waiting to see how much progress Mercedes make before agreeing to a new contract.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has hinted ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix that he will remain at Mercedes beyond this season, with the Briton’s current contract set to expire at the end of 2023.

It’s been widely reported that Hamilton is waiting to see how much progress Mercedes can make before signing a new deal, with it having been initially expected that he’d sign an extension before the 2023 F1 season began.

Both himself and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff hinted last year that a deal would be done over the winter; however, as known now that wasn’t the case.

Hamilton heads into Albert Park this weekend at the venue where his Mercedes career started 11 years ago, after taking the huge gamble to leave McLaren.

READ: Toto Wolff hints at Mercedes exit amid Lewis Hamilton refusing to sign contract

On that day in 2013, Hamilton claimed fifth, a result he’d likely take this weekend given the Germans current difficulties.

Hamilton reflected on his move from McLaren to Mercedes ahead of this weekend, with the 38-year-old having openly admitted that the switch did “feel like a risk”.

“Did it feel like a risk? Of course,” Hamilton said.

“When you make decisions, you go through changes and it’s always going to be a risk. But I would feel like I’m not living if I’m not taking risks, not constantly challenging myself and those around me.

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“It was the inevitable direction I had to go, and it felt right. I wanted something new.

“I was excited to work with new people and enter a team that had struggled. Taking everything that I had learned and seeing if I could apply it somewhere else.

“I was excited by the plans I had heard were being put in place to scale up the team and going all in to become champions.

“I went with what I felt in my gut and in my heart. It led me to this amazing team and this incredible journey we are on.”

It’s safe to say that it was a risk well taken by Hamilton, given that he’s gone on to claim six Drivers’ Championships since 2013.

11 years on, though, and Hamilton is set to potentially take another risk, with the Stevenage-born driver having to decide whether to remain with Mercedes despite their struggles or go elsewhere.

As it stands, it looks like Hamilton will decide to take a risk and stay at the Silver Arrows, given that he currently doesn’t have any feelings that he wants to leave.

“If I don’t feel like I’m being challenged, I’m not progressing or I’m not evolving, that is where you start thinking about your next move,” said Hamilton.

“And I just haven’t felt that in these 10 years.

“I feel like the whole team has been evolving, with new people, new structures being put in place, new targets being set.

READ: ‘He cannot accept that’: Ex-F1 champion opens up on Adrian Newey

“I feel that I’ve had the right team to grow. Not only as a driver but as a man. I’ve been given the ability to be myself and (have) been accepted by Mercedes.

“And look what we’ve accomplished together – not only in results on track but things we’ve accomplished off-track and the steps we’ve taken. The changes we’re making through Accelerate 25 and Mission 44, where we are really starting to impact people.

“It makes me so proud because we hold ourselves to the highest standards and highest levels in everything we do.”