Lewis Hamilton hoping to race past 40 with new Mercedes contract
Lewis Hamilton has said he hopes to sign a new multi-year contract with Mercedes and continue racing in Formula One into his forties.
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Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, the seven-time world champion revealed he was in talks with the team about another multi-year.
Asked about his future, Hamilton, 37, said: “You’re stuck with me for quite a bit longer.
“We are going to do another deal. We are going to sit down and discuss it in these next couple of months.”
Hamilton, who will be 38 on January 5, joined Mercedes in 2013 after starting his F1 career with McLaren in 2007.
He won his first title in 2008 and holds records for most victories (103) and pole positions (103), but this year faces completing a season without winning a single race for the first time.
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“I want to keep racing,” he said.
“I love what I do. I’ve been doing it for 30 years and I don’t feel that I should have to stop. I think I am currently still earning my keep. I still want to do better.
“I could stop now – and I have lots of other things in the pipeline that I will be super-focused and super-busy with – (but) I’m here for the sheer love of working in the organisation that I’m in.
“Mercedes-Benz have stuck with me through thick and thin. They stuck with me through being expelled at school.
“They stuck with me through everything that was going on through 2020. They’ve stuck with me through my mistakes and through the ups and downs.”
Lewis Hamilton declined to answer GOAT question
He declined to consider if he could be described as Formula One’s ‘greatest of all time’ driver.
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When asked by American television host Jimmy Kimmel, he replied: “I know what I am. I know how good I am, but I don’t really like to talk about it.
“I like to just do the talking on the track.
“That’s what my dad always said. When I was a kid when we were racing, we were on the receiving end of a lot of discrimination because we were the only people of colour on the racetrack.
“My dad said just do my talking on the track. So, even today I don’t feel like I need to say anything. I just let my what I’m doing on the circuit, what I’m doing off the circuit, kind of talk.”
After a disappointing start to the season, when his Mercedes car suffered chronic ‘porpoising’ and bouncing problems, Hamilton has gradually clawed his way back to form and led last Sunday’s United States Grand Prix before finishing second behind world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
Won’t win in 2022
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff said: “Lewis drove an outstanding race to finish second – we need to keep this momentum going. While we didn’t quite have the pace to win, it was great to be in the mix at the front and leading the race.”
He added that Mercedes felt cautiously optimistic about this Sunday’s race although Hamilton suggested a race win this year was unlikely.
Hamilton also made clear that he had no interest in being handed the 2021 title by the International Motoring Federation (FIA) if it was as a result of Red Bull’s breach of last year’s budget cap, an offence for which no punishment has been agreed or announced.
“When I heard about this cost thing, for sure, it brings up a little bit of emotion because you kind of bury it and move on and then it comes back up – and it’s like another kick,” he said.
“But I’ve moved on from it. I refuse to live in the past.”
By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse
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