Formula 1 Testing in Bahrain - Day Three

Lewis Hamilton may be stalling on a possible contract extension with Mercedes because he might be waiting to see how competitive the Silver Arrows are this year, according to 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill.

Lewis Hamilton is currently in the final year of his contract with the team where he won six of his seven F1 Drivers’ World Championships. While discussions on renewals have been in the air for some time now, the ink has yet to be put to paper.

Damon Hill shared his thoughts on the matter in a column for The Telegraph in the United Kingdom, where he said:

“Hamilton is out of contract at the end of this season. And it is going to be fascinating to see his next move. While both he and Mercedes have been saying for months that he plans to carry on, the fact remains that with less than a week until the first race of the year on March 5, nothing has yet been announced. It begs the question, why? One possible explanation is that both sides are waiting to see just how competitive Mercedes are before committing to a new deal.”

Hamilton struggled for most of 2022 and finished the season without a win or a pole position for the first time since his debut in 2007. Hill feels that if the trend continues this year, the Briton may not be inclined to extend his stay with the team. He added:

“If they start 2023 miles off the pace, perhaps Lewis will be less minded to sign a new long-term deal. Or perhaps it is the team who are dragging their heels. Lewis does not come cheap. He gives Mercedes a lot but he costs them a lot too. In George Russell, they have a young driver who might be capable of delivering a title in the right car.”

It should be noted that George Russell was able to beat Lewis Hamilton by a 35-point margin in his first season with the team last year.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton keen to prolong his F1 career with focus and new practices

Lewis Hamilton has no plans to slow down just yet and is still hoping to prolong his F1 career, amid continuing speculation about his current contract situation.

Speaking in an interview during the launch event of the Mercedes W14, Hamilton said:

“And on the other side of things, it’s the mental and the physical side of things – just continuing to try to evolve. Working with different people. I don’t want to highlight what areas, but just on the physical and mental side of things.”

The 38-year-old went on to add:

“There’s so much great research out there of how you can advance your body, how you can be more focussed, and practices that you can take into your daily life. So there’s things like that, that I’ve been working on trying to adopt.”

If the rumor mill is to be believed, the Briton could be offered an attractive sum of £62 million ($74.6 million) a season, making him the highest-paid driver on the grid.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann


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