Hamilton says “there is no hold-up” with new Mercedes contract

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton responds to statements made by Damon Hill and Jenson Button, who speculated that he is waiting to see how the W14 performs, before he decides if he is going to extend his Mercedes contract.

Lewis Hamilton is in the last year of his current Mercedes contract and, naturally, many observers are speculating if and when he’ll sign a new deal.

Although team boss Toto Wolff and Lewis himself both said that the contract extension is just a formality, some pundits have speculated that the Briton is in fact waiting to see how the Mercedes W14 will perform this year, before deciding on his future.

The most prominent of these pundits were 1996 F1 champion Damon Hill and Lewis’ former team-mate, and 2009 champion, Jenson Button.

Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis was asked if there was any truth to these speculations.

“Not at all,” the Briton said.

“It’s ultimately… people creating rumours without facts. It’s never helpful. And you would have thought they [Hill and Button] would have both known by now.

“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13. Having a difficult year, like we had last year, I’m still here.

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“Whether or not we have a difficult year [in 2023]… I’ll still be here.”

Lewis then said he intends to give it his all, no matter the state of the car.

“I’m a fighter, and we fight as a team. I love the challenge of finding solutions and I still believe I’m able to put the car in places that perhaps others are not able to, and I love that challenge.

“Of course I wish to be starting the season with a great car, but it’s the journey I think that really counts.

“There is no hold-up with our contract. I’ve always been very, very relaxed and don’t feel like I need to get it done right this second.

“I have a great relationship with Toto [Wolff] and Mercedes and we fully support each other. I’m really excited about the future together and the work we’re doing on and off the track.

“We’ll get there unless something catastrophic happens… maybe me and Toto get into the ring,” Hamilton concluded with a smile.

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