Lewis Hamilton’s time with Mercedes has been more successful than he could ever have hoped for, as the Brit currently sits on seven world championship titles with plenty of time to win a record breaking eighth.
Hamilton’s winning run came to an end in 2021 when Max Verstappen beat the 37-year-old to the championship in controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the Brit’s efforts to bounce back in 2022 failed spectacularly, through no fault of his own.
The new era of Formula 1 saw Mercedes get off to a slow start, misinterpreting the physics surrounding the new regulations and creating an uncompetitive W13 full of problems.
The Silver Arrows’ only win of the season came in Brazil, as George Russell led the team to an impressive one-two at Interlagos, meaning that Hamilton finished the season winless and sixth in the championship.
It was widely reported and even confirmed by both parties that Hamilton would sign a multi-year contract extension over the winter break, but with weeks having passed since the final race of the season, fans have begun to wonder if the seven-time world champion has changed his mind about continuing in Formula 1.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has now shut down suggestions that Hamilton could walk away from Mercedes over the winter, confirming that talks are still scheduled to take place with the Brit.
“The job list is pretty long in what’s needed to be done [over the winter break],” claimed Wolff.
“But certainly Lewis’ contract is one of the topics that we will tackle over the winter, but there is no firm deadline.
“Absolutely [Hamilton will stay], Lewis is part of the team and the team is part of Lewis, [so there is] no reason to not continue.”
Hamilton had previously suggested that he had no intention of racing in Formula 1 into his 40’s like Fernando Alonso, but the heartbreak of 2021 may have given him the hunger to continue to hunt for that elusive eighth world championship, that would see him surpass the feats of the legendary Michael Schumacher.
Mercedes have expressed their confidence at provided Hamilton with a more competitive car in 2023, putting this year’s failures down as a learning curve and a reality check that will benefit the team in the long run.