At the conclusion of the 2023 Formula 1 season, Lewis Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes expires. The seven-time world champion and his team have consistently stated their desire to extend the agreement, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is optimistic that negotiations can be completed as soon as possible and Lewis Hamilton will be given an extended contract.
Winning a Formula 1 title, let alone seven, would have been a stunning achievement for 22-year-old Lewis Hamilton, even with all his potential upon hitting the grid with McLaren. The Briton may not be the greatest British athlete yet Lewis Hamilton is recognized as the most successful Formula 1 driver in history, and his legacy will endure long beyond his retirement.
Lewis Hamilton’s time with Mercedes
When Hamilton signed with Mercedes in 2013, he was taking a big risk, as the team had not won a championship since the 1950s. However, it did not take long for Hamilton to prove that he had made the right decision.
Hamilton won the championship, beating his teammate and rival, Nico Rosberg. He went on to win the championship again, after his maiden win in 2008 with McLaren, in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 becoming one of the most successful drivers in the history of the sport.
What sets Hamilton apart from other drivers is his relentless work ethic and his ability to adapt to different situations. The Brit has worked closely with Mercedes’ engineers to develop the car, and he has also built a strong bond with the team’s management. Known for his aggressive driving style and for his use of social media to voice his opinions on political issues, he always has some kind of controversy wrapped around him.
The 2022 season has been disappointing for the team and Hamilton himself. The W13 was a car with problems with aerodynamics and it suffered from porpoising. The phenomenon is essentially the bouncing of the car at high speeds. Mercedes struggled with this issue throughout the season and the driver complained about having back problems. His teammate George Russell finished above Hamilton which was quite surprising. The team finished in third place with 515 points.
Lewis Hamilton’s contract expires in 2023
Hamilton’s contract expires in 2023, and there are rumors of him leaving Mercedes floating around. Simon Lazenby from Sky Sports stated that “How can you rule out a move to Ferrari if [Mercedes] stay like this?”. Stating the fact that a move to Ferrari could help him reach that 8th WDC once and for all.
But Wolff has cleared the air saying that “We are talking when we want to do it and how, but we just need to change some terms – the dates, basically. I am absolutely confident [Hamilton will stay].”
Toto Wolff is confident Lewis Hamilton will extend his contract with the team 🤝— Formula 1 (@F1) March 17, 2023
The @MercedesAMGF1 Team Principal provides an update on the ongoing discussions ⬇️#SaudiArabianGP #F1 https://t.co/PSQ2u2h9Pg
Although Hamilton and the Mercedes team share a great bond and his dropping out of the team is out of the question, the team chief went on to say “As a driver nevertheless, if he wants to win another championship, he needs to make sure that he has the car and if we cannot demonstrate that we’re able to give him a car in the next couple of years then he needs to look everywhere.“
The Austrian elaborated saying that he does not think that Lewis will be leaving Mercedes at this stage of his career as there is a mutual trust between the both. Later, he also passively contradicted by saying that if Lewis thinks like a driver, he might have to leave the team if the team does not give him a good car.
Wolff also elaborated saying that Hamilton’s statements about the team not listening to him post the Bahrain GP was nothing but a poor choice of words. He added “We know there are emotions at play with him, me, with many others on the team. We wear the heart on our sleeves.”
However, Toto defending Lewis is just reflective of the mutual trust that exists between the two and is very heart-warming for the fans. He mentioned that they have “tough love” and that is what keeps them going. All in all, Hamilton might not be going anywhere for the time being but it seems like if Mercedes miss the Bullseye with the car a few more times, Lewis might head to a more competitive team.