Lewis Hamilton says there is unfinished business to complete with his F1 contract extension, but there is no revenge on his mind.
There was no surprise when Hamilton extended his F1 contract with Mercedes for two more seasons until 2025. It was forthcoming even with the recent slump from the German manufacturer who are now behind a dominant Red Bull.
Their ascendance started in 2021 when Red Bull pushed Mercedes hard and eventually took the drivers’ title from them. And in 2022, they won the constructors’ title too which ended the hybrid era dominance and they are set to repeat it in 2023.
Despite the challenges, Hamilton was widely expected to re-sign as he noted about the unfinished business he has to complete by taking Mercedes back on top in the coming years. “We’re trying to win more World Championships and I think, yep, the unfinished business is getting us to the back to the top, it’s getting back and fighting for World Championships,” he said.
“We’ve been the most successful team in history and had the most successful run in the past 10 years or whatever but it’s been a challenge this past year so I think yeah, it’s just getting us back to where we belong and where we operate on all those cylinders which you’re seeing Red Bull do. I can’t remember what the last part was.”
When he says unfinished business, it is not revenge on his mind for what happened in 2021 which affected him hugely in the winter. There was natural disappointment not just for Hamilton, but also whole of Mercedes F1 team. They have moved on since but not forgotten it and getting back on top will showcase their grit and determination.
“On the 2021 thing, I’m not really a revenge person,” said Hamilton. “It’s not about revenge. It’s not about redemption. That’s in the past. There’s nothing you can do about the past but what we can do is work harder and be more precise and be better moving forwards. And I truly believe that with this team, we can win more World Championships and watch races together so that’s where all my energy is going.”
Outside this, the fact that Hamilton is still racing having started out in 2007 with no gaps in between unlike Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, he has surprised himself with the longevity he has had in the sport. He still feels passionate about racing which keeps him in the game, not just physically but mentally too.
“I think I look at people like Tom Brady, who’s such an incredible athlete and has shown what can be done today, so he’s the real role model, in that respect, I think for all athletes to be able to look at, and I’m really, really fortunate that I’ve been able to speak to him to understand, as well, what he’s done, what he does consistently to keep himself in shape and he’s expressed it in the media anyways,” said Hamilton.
“And then, yeah, of course it’s great seeing Fernando. He was here way before I was and obviously took that retirement and came back and is doing an amazing job. It just shows that your talent never really leaves you. As long as you have that passion and that commitment you can continue. I definitely didn’t think that I would be at the age that I am and feel the way that I do, physically and mentally and still love what I’m doing as much as I do. And that’s something I’m incredibly grateful for.
“I think a lot of people stay in the same jobs and roles for a long period of time and fall out of love with it but just keep going because it’s maybe the only thing they can do, but for me, I genuinely love, I still have that love for what I’m doing. I still love getting in the car. I still love racing with my peers and I still love working alongside Bono and all the guys in the garage, in the team, like chasing that common goal and dream. And I love that feeling of when you have the lows together and when you have the highs together, there’s nothing like it,” summed up Hamilton.
As said above, the deal between Mercedes and Hamilton was just a formality. Team boss Toto Wolff, in fact, revealed that their terms were only done by June-July with the hold-up only to discuss the final topics regarding marketing.
“I think Lewis and I, we were clear on the major terms in June, July,” said Wolff. “And then it just, you know things have been bubbling along. Then was summer break. So at the end it was things about marketing, not really the big relevant topics and that took a bit of time and sometimes with lawyers, it can take time… ours are obviously splendid, but the others are….”
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