Lewis Hamilton was met with a huge roar from his fans when he arrived at a Tommy Hilfiger event Thursday evening, ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
Hundreds of fans surrounded the hosting venue of the event to catch a glimpse of the seven-time World Champion, and they weren’t left disappointed.
Hamilton waved to all of the fans when he arrived in the back of a Mercedes, with him clearly being a favourite amongst the Italian fans.
Given how often he’s been linked to Ferrari this shouldn’t come as a surprise, neither should the fact that he’s finally signed a new contract with Mercedes.
It was announced on Thursday ahead of Hamilton attending the Tommy Hilfiger event that he’d signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes, making him the sport’s highest-paid driver once again.
Hamilton had fallen behind Max Verstappen last season in regard to yearly salary, after the Dutchman was offered £43.4 million a season as part of his long-term deal.
The 38-year-old has surpassed Verstappen and reclaimed top spot, after agreeing to a deal worth £50 million per season.
It means that his new contract is worth £100 million overall, an eye-watering amount.
His goal remains to claim an unprecedented eighth title, something he’s targeting in 2024.
In order to win another championship, he’ll need to defeat Red Bull and Verstappen, something he’s failed to do this year.
Simply winning a Grand Prix would be seen as a positive for Hamilton in the remaining nine race of the season, given that his last victory came almost two years ago.
Hamilton hasn’t tasted victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, a race which saw himself and Verstappen collide multiple times.
Many expect their rivalry to reignite should Mercedes offer the Stevenage-born driver a competitive package next season, something there is a good chance of given that the Brackley-based team are already focusing on 2024.
For now, Hamilton just needs to continue trying to extract the most from the W14, something he’s hoping to do at the ‘Temple of Speed’ this weekend, where he’d love a podium to cement the signing of his new deal.