Lewis Hamilton: F1 world champion plans contract talks with view to new Mercedes deal by summer break
Lewis Hamilton drops another strong hint about his plans to continue racing in F1 beyond this season; "Naturally we don't have to rush anything, but I think we have to be sensible and start conversations"
Last Updated: 10/05/21 2:39pm
Lewis Hamilton has indicated he would like to agree a new contract to continue in Formula 1 with Mercedes beyond this season by the time of the August summer break.
The seven-time champion signed a late one-year extension to his deal for 2021 only in February, but all sides have indicated they want their next deal to be tied up earlier than that.
Fresh from a brilliant 98th career victory at Barcelona on Sunday, Hamilton said: "We never want to be in the position that we were in in January, in February.
"It ruined my whole winter and I'm sure it wasn't helpful for Toto [Wolff]'s, in terms of being out to be off and relaxed, so it felt like we didn't really have much of a break.
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"I think we have to be sensible. Naturally we don't have to rush anything, but I think we have to be sensible and start conversations. They're very complex, it's never a super simple procedure and so hopefully soon we can start, as long as it doesn't interfere the actual job.
"We still have 19 races to do but it would be great to get something in place before the break so then we could, again, be in that break and have a clear picture of the future."
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 at the previous week's Portuguese GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he had been encouraged by Hamilton's comments to him about his future plans and that "there is no reason why" the 36-year-old would not extend with his team of the past nine seasons.
"It's the best place to be," said Wolff. "He has been with us a long time and I think as long as we can provide the outlook for a competitive package, I see no reason why we shouldn't be together and continue the marriage."
There is certainly no sign of any waning in the competitiveness of either Mercedes or Hamilton.
Despite the increased challenge being posed by Red Bull and Max Verstappen, Hamilton has made the joint-best start to a season in his career in terms of race results - three wins and one second place - with his 94-point haul after four races his best return at this stage.
Hamilton, who turned 36 in January and is in his 15th season of F1, claimed a milestone 100th pole position on Saturday and is now also fast closing on becoming the sport's first centurion for race victories.
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The Briton is chasing a record eighth world title this year.