Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula One world champion, has responded to comments made by fellow former champions Jenson Button and Damon Hill regarding his commitment to the sport. Both Button and Hill have questioned Hamilton’s dedication to the sport if he were to drive a substandard car.
When asked if he considered the upcoming season to be his last, Hamilton refuted the claim, stating that he had no such thoughts. “It is ultimately people creating rumours without facts, and it is never helpful, and you would have thought that they would both know me by now,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton’s comments come amid speculation surrounding his contract negotiations with Mercedes. His current contract expired at the end of 2020, and although he is expected to sign a new one, there has been no official confirmation. “There is no hold-up with our contract. I have always been very, very relaxed and I don’t feel like I have to get it done right this second. I am in a very fortunate position,” Hamilton explained.
During the launch last month, Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes, announced that negotiations for a new contract with Lewis Hamilton had begun. The current contract of the British driver, which pays him £40 million per year, expires at the end of this season. Despite Max Verstappen’s comfortable victory in the previous season, where Mercedes was struggling and lagged behind Ferrari and Red Bull, Hamilton’s passion for the sport doesn’t seem to have diminished.
“I have been with Mercedes since I was 13 and despite a difficult time last year, I am still here, and whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I will still be here,” Hamilton said. “I am a fighter and we fight as a team. I love the challenge of finding solutions and I still believe I am able to put the car in places that perhaps others are not able to.”
Hamilton also spoke of his excitement for the future with Mercedes and the potential for new developments. “We will get there unless something catastrophic happens between me and Toto and we get in the boxing ring, but other than that we are good,” he added.