Thrilling season convinces Hamilton

Mercedes driver says he extended contract because he doesn’t want to stop racing


REUTERS July 04, 2021

LONDON:

Lewis Hamilton says he has no plans to stick around in Formula One into his 40s but signed up for two more years because this season's close competition has been so exciting.

Explaining the thinking behind a contract extension announced at the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday, Mercedes' seven times world champion told reporters he was loving the challenge.

The 36-year-old said he had considered leaving but felt both he and the sport were entering an interesting new phase.

"I think we are being challenged more than ever this year, which is great," said the most successful driver of all time. "And I love racing. This is what I want to do."

Hamilton said his previous contract was supposed to be for two years but he asked for one because he was unsure whether he would continue or not, with the Covid-19 pandemic also casting uncertainty.

"I had the best and most enjoyable start of the year, enjoyed the roller-coaster ride that we're having," he explained."The start of this season, when the cars were so close in performance -- pretty much equal -- then it was really one of the most exciting times I've had for some time. To be able to have this battle with Red Bull.

"I was really hoping that it would continue on like that for the rest of the year but they've taken a huge leap forwards," said Hamilton.

The Briton is 18 points behind Max Verstappen after the opening eight races, with Red Bull winning four in a row up to Sunday after Hamilton triumphed in three of the first four.

Hamilton has used his platform to campaign for diversity and equal rights, an important part of his decision to stay, but he said he was also just loving his job.

"I found myself just waking up thinking about racing, so I wanted to continue to race," he said.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read