Lewis Hamilton mentioned he has “unfinished business” after signing a brand new £100million contract to increase his Formula One profession past his fortieth birthday.
After months of negotiations, the seven-time world champion lastly concluded a brand new two-year deal – understood to be value £50m-a-season, a wage hike of £10m – eventually weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.
The announcement ends hypothesis surrounding the seven-time world champion’s future along with his present deal up for renewal on the finish of the season.
Hamilton’s extension – which attracts him stage with Max Verstappen because the grid’s highest earner – will take him to a month shy of his forty first birthday. It may even enable him to proceed his pursuit of a report eighth crown.
Hamilton will nonetheless be partnered by George Russell after Mercedes additionally confirmed they 25-year-old’s keep for no less than one other two years.
“I have had such an incredible journey with Mercedes, and we still have unfinished business,” mentioned Hamilton forward of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
“We want to get back to the top, and back to fighting for world championships. We are in this together.
“We have a lot of work to do, but there is nowhere else I would rather be. You are all stuck with me for a little bit longer.”
Hamilton has received a report 103 races, and was carried to 6 of his seven championships by Mercedes, however he has not tasted victory for the reason that controversial Abu Dhabi decider of 2021 – a shedding run of 36 races.
Hamilton is fourth within the championship, an eye-watering 183 factors behind Verstappen, with Mercedes unable to problem the Dutchman’s all-conquering workforce.
Verstappen has received 11 of the 13 rounds thus far – with Red Bull unbeaten this season.
But Hamilton added: “It is not about revenge or redemption. Abu Dhabi is in the past and there’s nothing you can do about it.
“In life, you have ups and downs, and last year everyone was questioning whether they wanted to continue. But that thought quickly went away, and you put your mind and energy into being the best you can be.
“I truly believe we can win more world championships and more races together and that’s where all my energy is going.
“I’m not thinking that it’s going to take another four years to get to where we need to be. I’m aware that it does take time.
“But I’m so hopeful the decisions we are taking will put us in that target zone. In my heart I truly believe if it’s not next year it will be the year after that we can challenge.”
Hamilton, who made his F1 debut in 2007 aged 22, as soon as scoffed on the thought of racing into his forties.
But after signing up for his 18th and nineteenth seasons, he revealed the careers of NFL star Tom Brady, who retired on the age of 45, and Fernando Alonso, who turned 42 final month, is proof he can proceed to compete on the highest stage.
“I definitely didn’t think I would get to the age that I am and feel the way I do, physically and mentally, and still love what I’m doing as much as I do,” he added. “That’s something I’m incredibly grateful for.
“I look at people like Tom Brady, who has been such an incredible athlete, and has shown what can be done today. He’s a role model in that respect.
“I’ve been fortunate in being able to speak to him and to understand what he has done and what he does consistently to keep himself in shape.
“It is also great seeing Fernando. He was here way before I was and is still doing an amazing job.
“It just shows that your talent never really leaves you so long as you have that passion and commitment to continue.”
Russell joined Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022, out-scoring his team-mate of their first season collectively.
He additionally claimed his maiden victory – Mercedes’ sole triumph of final yr – on the penultimate spherical in Brazil.
“Lewis wouldn’t have stayed if he didn’t think the team was capable of winning again,” added Russell. “That reinforces the confidence that I have in the team.”