Lewis Hamilton provides Mercedes contract update in Miami

Speculation over Lewis Hamilton’s future in Formula 1 has been rife, as contract negotiations with Mercedes remain ongoing.

Lewis Hamilton has declared that he will not retire “any time soon”, as he reaffirmed his commitment to Mercedes despite failing to sign an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

The seven-time world champion has sparked speculation over his future with the Silver Arrows or even in the sport as a whole, delaying to put pen to paper on a deal that will see him race in 2024 and beyond.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had initially hoped to agree a deal with Hamilton before the season began but, heading into round five, there is no sign an agreement is close to being reached.

Hamilton was first rumoured to be considering retirement after the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he believed the result was “manipulated” to deny him a record-breaking eighth world title.

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With Mercedes failing to perform under the new era of regulations, Hamilton’s future has been in doubt, as people wonder whether his quest for an eighth world title could see him move to a new team. 

“I don’t plan on stopping any time soon,” Hamilton told ESPN. 

“I’m not at the end of my career, I’m not in the downhill slope of my career. I’m in my prime.  

“It all depends on how hard I want to work and keep myself in my prime, in terms of physical and mental capability.

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“Right now, I don’t plan on changing, I only plan on adding to the drive and the motivation and to being better. I’m massively driven.”  

If Hamilton were to move teams, Ferrari has been cited as a potential destination for the former champion to spend the final years of his career.

However, the British driver has seemingly ruled out a move to the Italian team, even though he admits he has thought about joining Ferrari. 

“I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought about ending my career anywhere else,” he admitted.  

“I started at McLaren, I’d like to think I’ll always be a part of the McLaren family, I started there when I was 13 years old [as a junior driver], so I thought about what it would look like if I was at McLaren one day. 

“I thought about and watched the Ferrari drivers on the screens at the track and of course you wonder what it would be like to be in red… But then I go to my team, to Mercedes, and this is my home.  

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“I’m happy where I am. I haven’t signed a contract yet, but we are working on one.”

Heading into Miami, Hamilton looks unlikely to challenge for the title this season but that hasn’t stopped him fighting for podiums, as seen in Melbourne.

Following George Russell’s DNF, Hamilton scooped P2 at Albert Park, claiming the first podium of the season for Mercedes and keeping the team in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ race.