Formula One

Hamilton rubbishes ‘rumors without facts’ regarding Mercedes future


Lewis Hamilton says another difficult year in with Mercedes won’t send him packing at the end of the season, contrary to the “rumors without facts” that he’s heard.

Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of 2023, and team and driver have yet to agree on an extension.

Fellow F1 world champions Damon Hill and Jenson Button both believe that Hamilton is holding out on signing a new contract until he gets a clear view of Mercedes’ level of performance relative to its main rivals.

Asked in Bahrain on Thursday if his future in F1 beyond 2023 is conditional on Mercedes’ results this season, Hamilton set the record straight on Hill and Button’s speculation.

“Not at all. It’s ultimately… people creating rumours without facts,” replied the seven-time world champion.

“It’s never helpful. And you would have thought they would have both known by now.

“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13,” he said. “Having a difficult year like we had last year, still here, whether or not we 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 finding solutions and trying to.

“I still believe I’m able to put the car in places that others are perhaps not able to, and I love that challenge.

“Of course, I wish that we start the season with a great car. But it’s the journey I think that really counts.”

Regardless of how his team performs in the opening races of 2023, Hamilton insists he’s in no hurry to seal a new deal with Mercedes.

“So there is no hold up with our contract,” he added. “I’ve always been very, very relaxed. I don’t feel like I’ve got to get it done right this second. I’m in a very fortunate position.

“It’ll get done when we’re ready. I have a great relationship with Toto and Mercedes, and we fully support each other. I’m really excited about the future together.

“I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing on and off the track, and the potential things we can do going forward. We’ll get there,” concluded the Briton.

A competitive Mercedes team would offer fans another intriguing inner team battle between Hamilton and team George Russell, pitting the former’s vast experience and skills against the latter’s youthful energy and talent.

But Hamilton is actually spurred on by the productive rivalry as “new blood”, wherever it’s infused in the team, is “always good to have”.

“I felt Valtteri [Bottas] was young… But I think it’s always positive, not just with George but we’ve got so many new people within the team,” he said.

“Whether it’s here in the garage seeing new faces or back in the factory with new recruits coming through all the time. New blood, new ideas, new enthusiasm is always good to have.

“George is only in his second year with the team and massively enthusiastic and talented and hungry to push for wins, and we need that. We need both people pushing forward, so that’s a positive.”

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Hamilton rubbishes ‘rumors without facts’ regarding Mercedes future

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