Lewis Hamilton won’t accept Fernando Alonso’s fate

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff both revealed at the end of the 2022 season that a new contract would be signed before the 2023 season.

With the start of the 2023 season just a few days away, seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is still yet to sign a contract extension with Mercedes, with 1996 World Champion Damon Hill wondering “why” a new contact is yet to be announced.

Hamilton’s current deal expires at the end of this season, meaning time is quickly running out for the 38-year-old to sign a new deal with the Silver Arrows.

A new deal is expected to be signed at some point, with Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff having revealed at the end of last season that a new deal would be sorted.

Interestingly, the plan was for a deal to be sorted during the off-season; however, nothing has yet been signed ahead of the forthcoming season.

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Whether Hamilton is waiting to see what the W14 is like before signing an extension remains to be seen, with Hill being unsure what is keeping the 103-time race winner in the sport.

“At 38, Lewis is obviously getting on in terms of years, but he remains as quick as ever. And as fit,” Hill wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

“With the way the drivers look after themselves these days, and power steering in the cars, I don’t believe there is any physical reason he could not carry on driving well into his 40s if he was motivated to do so. Fernando Alonso is living proof of that.

“The question is, what is keeping him here? Is it just about getting that eighth title? Will he retire if he does it? Or is it because he wants to keep racing for the love of it?

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“Personally I can’t see Lewis driving around in circles trying to pick off podium places, as Fernando [Alonso] has been forced to resign himself to.

“Whatever the reason, Hamilton is out of contract at the end of this season. And it is going to be fascinating to see his next move. While both he and Mercedes have been saying for months that he plans to carry on, the fact remains that with less than a week until the first race of the year on March 5, nothing has yet been announced. It begs the question, why?

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“One possible explanation is that both sides are waiting to see just how competitive Mercedes are before committing to a new deal.

“If they start 2023 miles off the pace, perhaps Lewis will be less minded to sign a new long-term deal? Or perhaps it is the team who are dragging their heels? Lewis does not come cheap. He gives Mercedes a lot but he costs them a lot too. In George Russell they have a young driver who might be capable of delivering a title in the right car.

“I don’t think anyone outside of Lewis and Mercedes know the answers to these questions but one thing we do know is it’s a critical moment in the career of one of the sport’s all-time greats.”