Mercedes cryptically respond to Lewis Hamilton contract rumours

Lewis Hamilton's contract at Mercedes expires this season, with a new deal yet to be signed by the 38-year-old.

Mercedes have seemingly responded to speculation over the future of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, by posting an incredibly cryptic post on social media.

2023 certainly hasn’t started well for the Brackley-based team, with the Germans having fallen to fourth in the pecking order at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Whilst they remain comfortably behind Red Bull and Ferrari, the Silver Arrows are now behind their customer team Aston Martin, to add to their woes.

Hamilton qualified seventh but recovered to finish fifth; alas, 51 seconds behind winner Max Verstappen.

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The 38-year-old is clearly frustrated with the condition of W14, with the veteran driver having released his disappointment following the race.

“Last year, I told them the issues that are with the car,” Hamilton told the BBC.

“I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs, I know what a car doesn’t need.

“And I think it’s really about accountability, it’s about owning up and saying, ‘Yeah, you know what, we didn’t listen to you, it’s not where it needs to be and we’ve got to work’.

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Given Hamilton’s frustration at having not been listened to, many have begun to speculate whether he might leave Mercedes at the end of the season.

His contract does expire at the end of 2023, with the likes of Damon Hill and Jenson Button having suggested that Hamilton might be waiting to see whether Mercedes improve or not, before signing an extension.

Perhaps in response to the comments by the ex-F1 drivers, Mercedes have posted an image of the Brit on social media, with the caption: “I don’t plan on being anywhere else.”

Hamilton himself has discussed some of the speculation over his future and has added that it’s “never helpful” to have rumours thrown about “without facts”.

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“People creating rumours without facts is never helpful. You’d have thought they’d both know me by now,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13. I had a difficult year last year and I’m still here. Should I have a difficult year this year, I’ll still be here. I’m a fighter and we fight as a team. I love the challenge.

“Of course I wish to be starting the season with a great car but it’s the journey I think that really counts.”