Mar.3 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton has hit back at two fellow world champions who wonder if the Mercedes driver will sign another contract.
Team boss Toto Wolff said recently that tentative talks are beginning, but Hamilton’s former McLaren teammate Jenson Button says the 38-year-old is probably waiting to see how competitive the 2023 car is.
“Why otherwise would you leave it this late?” said the 2009 world champion.
1996 world champion Damon Hill agrees that Hamilton will be thinking “very hard” about whether to keep racing beyond this season.
When asked about those comments, Hamilton said in Bahrain on Thursday: “It’s mostly people creating rumours without facts. Never helpful.
“You would have thought they would both know me by now.”
Indeed, Hamilton seems to imply that his very clear goal is to stay at Mercedes next year – which would mean he will eventually sign a new deal.
“We had a difficult year last year and I’m still here,” said the Briton. “And whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I’ll still be here.
“Of course I’d love to start the season with a great car but there is no hold-up with the contract,” Hamilton added. “I’m in a very fortunate position. There will be a time when it will be signed.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Toto and Mercedes and we always support each other. We’ll get there.”
Hamilton also lashed back at suggestions Mercedes is poised to ditch its ‘no sidepods’ concept within a few races this year.
“There is no plan B – it’s all nonsense,” he said.
“We live in a time of limited budgets now so to redo the design of the car, to go back to the very beginning, we simply don’t have the time for that.”