Hamilton plans to continue racing beyond end of current Mercedes deal
Lewis Hamilton (37) said on Thursday that he has no plans to retire from Formula One any time soon.
The Mercedes driver signed a two-year contract with the Brackley-based team last year, keeping him with the team until at least the end of 2023.
Hamilton told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix that he would race beyond the end of his contract.
“I intend to stay longer,” Hamilton said at the Suzuka circuit, adding that he was certain he wanted to stay with Mercedes in some capacity for the rest of his life.
“It’s just not certain how long.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told Channel 4 during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend that Hamilton, who turns 38 in January, told him he could go on for another five years.
Hamilton stated on Thursday that he had not spoken with Wolff about his remarks, but that it was a possibility.
“I’m feeling good,” said the Briton, who debuted with McLaren in 2007 before joining Mercedes at the end of 2012.
“I enjoy what I do.”
“We still have a lot of work to do and a lot to accomplish.” So I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon.”
Hamilton’s four-title streak ended last year when Red Bull rival Max Verstappen denied him an unprecedented eighth championship on the final lap of a contentious season finale.
The 37-year-old hasn’t been in contention this year and is still looking for his first win to add to his 103-victory career total, with Mercedes caught off guard by rule changes introduced this season.
Hamilton, a vocal supporter of environmental causes, human rights, social justice, equality, and diversity, stated that his main motivation for continuing would be to compete for victories and championships.
But he also wanted to continue in order to make the sport more inclusive.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done in this sport,” Hamilton said.
“I can’t retire now because I’m just getting started in helping to shift and create a more open and inclusive environment here in this sport, and I have to stay to help that continue.”
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