Lewis Hamilton Signals Intention To Stay End Career With Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has effectively committed to staying at Mercedes until the end of his career. The triple world champion, already under contract for 2018, disclosed on Thursday that he intended to sign another multi-year deal that would take him beyond his mid-thirties.

The only alternative for Hamilton was a switch to Ferrari, whose fans were chanting “please come” at the gates to the Monza circuit on Thursday, but that option has been closed off by title rival Sebastian Vettel’s decision to remain at Maranello for a further three years.

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Instead, the realistic chance of a fourth world title, coupled with the persuasive negotiating skills of team principal Toto Wolff, has convinced Hamilton, who turns 33 in January, that his future prospects would be best served at the Silver Arrows.

“Toto has said we would wait until the end of the season, because that is what I like to do,” he explained.

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“There is no rush – I still have another year. Sebastian signing doesn’t change much, because I plan to extend with the team, which I will do at some point in the second half of the season, or towards the end of the year.

“I know the team is fully committed to me, and I have never picked up the phone or spoken to any of the other teams. I made it very clear to the guys that I am not trying to weigh up my options. If I was, I would call Toto and tell him that I would do my due diligence. I have no plans to do that. It is good for Sebastian that he has signed – all things happen for a reason. In the plan that I have coming up – which involves five or six more years in the sport – one piece in the puzzle is now in place, so it makes my next move a lot easier.”

Although the length and the timing of Vettel’s fresh Ferrari contract, understood to be worth north of £40 million a year, came as a surprise, Hamilton confirmed that he was kept appraised by Wolff of all machinations in the driver market.

“I am made aware of who contacts the team,” he said. “That is down to the relationship I have with Toto. It is interesting to see who calls, who is trying to take my seat, the manoeuvres that happen.”

The most keenly anticipated business is whether Fernando Alonso, who described the power deficit of his Honda engine as “embarrassing”, decides at last to break his ties with McLaren. Earlier this season, the Spaniard identified September as the month he would stick or twist, but while the endless engine struggles appear to be pushing him closer to the door, the equation is not quite so simple. With line-ups for Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all confirmed for 2018, Alonso lacks a clear choice of a team that could improve his opportunity of securing a first championship for 12 years.

“I have absolutely not decided,” Alonso said. “More than anything I am not bigger than a team. We know things are not going in the right direction, that we are not competitive enough after three years. We all want to change that situation.”

He also struck back emphatically at suggestions that he had ‘parked’ his McLaren – retired the car deliberately – out of exasperation in Belgium.

“It seems people forget that I have been racing here for three years and fighting. I gave my maximum at starts, I pushed the car uphill in Hungary to have another chance in qualifying, I tried to race with a broken rib in Bahrain.”


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Source : http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/other/lewis-hamilton-signals-intention-to-end-career-with-mercedes/ar-AAr4lah

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