- Lewis Hamilton has dropped hints that he could stay in F1 up to 2026
- The rumour comes in the wake of Hamilton’s despair in reining in on Red Bull dominance
- Max Verstappen is well on course to clinch his third F1 World Championship title
Lewis Hamilton has dropped hints that he could stay in F1 up to 2026 as he turns 42 after agreeing to a new three-year Mercedes contract.
The rumour comes in the wake of Hamilton’s despair in reining in on his Red Bull driver Max Verstappen who is well on course to clinch his third F1 World Championship title.
He is alive to the possibility of Verstappen winning 10 consecutive races of the season just like Sebastian Vettel did in 2013.
Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix will serve as the first of those tests for Hamilton as the Dutch driver guns for his ninth successive victory.
Although Charles Leclerc of Ferrari suggested that a change in regulations may be necessary – due in 2026 – for anyone to mount a title challenge, Hamilton expressed his belief that Mercedes can regain their form sufficiently to compete with the Red Bulls next season.
In light of this, Hamilton appears to have in principle agreed to either a straight three-year contract or a two-year pact with a third year’s option as he pursues the elusive eighth world championship of his dreams.
Toto Wolff, the team Mercedes principal says that he has finally reached an agreement with the 38-year-old Mercedes driver. However, reports are that Hamilton is yet to sign anything.
A few weeks ago, Wolff said that he was doing everything to have the British driver to stay with the German team.
Since replacing Michael Schumacher, a role model from his youth, at Mercedes in 2013, Hamilton has enjoyed one of the most prosperous times in the history of motorsport.
The 38-year-old’s Mercedes contract is set to expire this year, and negotiations between the two parties have been ongoing for months with a £250 million ($318 million) deal still to be finalized.
During a BBC broadcast on Desert Island Discs, Wolff expressed his confidence that the seven-time world champion will help the team redefine itself.
“I’m doing everything I can to make him stay. I think there is no need to persuade him. He knows about all the goodness and although we struggled with the car this year, and last year, he will be part of the resurrection of the team,” Wolff said.
Earlier reports indicated that Hamilton was reportedly set to sign a new five-year contract with Mercedes worth £250 million.
This deal makes him the highest-paid Formula One driver in history. His contract current is expiring at the end of the 2023 season.
It also comes in the wake of his rumoured move to other rival F1 team Ferrari although he has dispelled these claims. However, insiders point out that he has had talks with Ferrari in the past.
With the £250 million contract, Hamilton will make £50 million annually, breaking Max Verstappen’s previous record of £40 million.
Given that the 38-year-old is one of the most successful Formula One drivers of all time, experts in the sport claim that this agreement is a big victory for Mercedes.
He is a significant draw for sponsors and the winner of seven world championships. The one new contract deal is also evidence of Mercedes’ resolve to triumph despite losing the last three races and surrendering the victory to Red Bull.