‘Lewis Hamilton would never make those demands about money’

Lewis Hamilton has just nine months remaining on his Mercedes contract, which is yet to be extended.

Sky Sports F1 presenter Simon Lazenby believes retirement is not “imminent at all” for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, whose future at Mercedes has been massively questioned following the Silver Arrows’ disappointing start to the 2023 season.

After entering 2023 on the back of their worst season since the start of the turbo-hybrid era, Mercedes were expected to immediately bounce back from their blip, not fall further behind.

The latter is exactly what Mercedes did at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Germans having fallen to fourth in the pecking order behind Aston Martin.

Hamilton was the better of the two Mercedes drivers at the Bahrain International Circuit, but still only finished fifth.

READ: Mark Webber makes Fernando Alonso retirement prediction

Fifth certainly isn’t where Hamilton wants to be, with the British driver continuing to target an unprecedented eighth world title.

Unless Mercedes fix their issues fast, 2023 won’t be a victorious year for Hamilton, who currently is in need of a new contract.

Hamilton’s deal with Mercedes expires at the end of this season, with an extension yet to be agreed on.

Some have questioned if he’s waiting to see if the team improve or not before agreeing to a new deal; however, he’s rejected this idea.

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Money also isn’t believed to be an issue, with Lazenby believing it’s not the financial aspect of the sport “that motivates him”.

“I think Lewis would never make those demands [about money] anyway, I don’t think that it’s the money that motivates him,” Lazenby told Express Sport.

“I think it’s the success and I think he will remain so long as he feels that he’s in the best position to get that eighth world championship.

“I think it’s as simple as that, he’s driven not by race wins, he’s driven by championships now and that will dictate his longevity.

“I don’t think retirement’s imminent at all actually.”

The presenter also doesn’t believe the progression of George Russell will have anything to do with a potential new deal for Hamilton, despite the fact that the 25-year-old is seen as the future of the team.

READ: Fernando Alonso on ‘his last contract’ at Aston Martin

“No I don’t think it will come to that,” Lazenby said.

“I don’t think you can underestimate the value of Lewis’ marketing potential to a brand like Mercedes either.

“I think that’s why he commands figures way in excess of George at this stage of George’s career.”