Will Lewis Hamilton ditch Mercedes for a rival team after 2023?

Lewis Hamilton’s existing Mercedes deal will expire at the end of next season, but the Silver Arrows have said an extension will soon be agreed.

Lewis Hamilton suffered yet more disappointment in 2022 off the back of the heartbreak he suffered at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the W13 being underwhelming to say the least.

The seven-time world champion endured his first-ever winless season in Formula 1 last campaign, while George Russell secured Mercedes’ sole win of the year.

While Hamilton has insisted that it was a learning experience for both him and the team, there’s no doubt he will be gutted to have missed another opportunity to claim his record-breaking eighth world title.

And, with the Briton currently 37 years old, he is running out of time to claim his all-important eighth F1 crown.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said he is optimistic for 2023, but the reality is Mercedes were still some way off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari in the latter part of the last season.

With Hamilton’s current Silver Arrows contract expiring at the end of next year, Wolff recently insisted that they will be continuing together beyond 2023.

In November, Wolff said they will discuss a new deal for the Briton following the conclusion of the season.

“We haven’t started any talks, we want to definitely finish the season and then find some quiet time over the winter like we did last time around,” he said.

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“He’s much more than a driver to us now. And although we’re not talking about a career end, it’s also important to speak about his role as an ambassador for Mercedes and the many sponsors we have and the implication he can have in our wider universe,” the Austrian added.

However, from Hamilton’s perspective, a smarter play would be to potentially hold off on putting pen to paper with Mercedes until he sees what their 2023 car is like – and where they stand relative to Ferrari and Red Bull.

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But, even if Mercedes continue to struggle in 2023, it has to be said that Hamilton’s options at a top team could be fairly limited in 2024, as Red Bull is off the table due to Max Verstappen’s presence.

Ferrari could be an option, especially if Charles Leclerc continues to grow frustrated with the team or if Carlos Sainz has a poor season.

Having said that, it’s hard to imagine Hamilton losing confidence in the team that is responsible for six of his seven world championships to date, so I think it’s fair to assume Hamilton will still be a Mercedes driver in 2024 and beyond.

Disclaimer: This is an opinion article and the views contained within it are strictly of the author.