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After signing just a one year deal earlier this year to remain at Mercedes, many believe that Sir Lewis Hamilton is close to retirement. But the seven time world champion is confident he will be on the grid in 2022, stating that this season will likely determine his decision.
The delay on the deal being signed led to speculation over Hamilton’s future, not just with Mercedes, but in Formula One. There were rumours that details within the contract such as salary, length of contract and a controversial team mate clause were causing the delays, and that a one year deal gave Hamilton some time to think about his future.
However, in a recent interview with Italian publication Gazetta dello Sport, Hamilton has revealed that his performance this year will not determine his decision on his future.
“The position I’m in has nothing to do with whether we are or we’re not winning the championship,” said Hamilton. “I don’t quit when the going gets tough. I wanted a one-year deal and yes, I said to Toto [Wolff] it would be good that when we work on the future together we should talk about it much earlier than January,”
“I’m fully committed to this sport. I love what I’m doing. We’re going to have a great battle one way or another and that’s what I’ve always loved.”
Hamilton won the 2021 season opener in Bahrain. Image Credit: Sebastian Kawka
The 36 year old is on the verge of becoming the most decorated driver in Formula One history if he is able to clinch an eighth title this year, smashing the record set by Michael Schumacher. This achievement will be extremely hard to beat for any younger driver in our generation, so it has led many to predict that he will retire after this season. He has quickly hit back at these claims, stating he wants to continue.
“In the current position I’m in, I don’t feel like this is the end,” he said. “Of course, we’ve got these [regulation] changes that are happening next year which are exciting. I don’t feel like I’m at the end, but in the next eight months or so I’ll find out whether I’m ready to stop or not. I don’t think I will personally, but you never know.”
“I could stay involved in F1 after retirement and I think I want to,” he continued. “But it’s hard for me to think about when I won’t be racing. Growing up, I’ve learned that changing things when you’re in them is easier and succeeds better,”
“F1 gave me a platform to reach a lot of people, to inform, to send positive messages, to encourage people, to push. At some point, I too will have to stop, but the mission to make motorsport more inclusive will never leave my mind, it’s something I will always want to fight for. One or two years are certainly not enough.”
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