Lewis Hamilton expects to stay in Formula One for at least three more years, revealing he is motivated to stay in the sport by its lack of diversity and his desire to prove he deserves a space on the grid.
The six-time world champion is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of 2020 but is expected to negotiate a renewal with the team over the upcoming months.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, he revealed that he is targeting a minimum of three more years in the sport but confessed that nothing was concrete.
“I think you still have to earn the right to be here in terms of how you perform and continue to deliver,” he said. “So my goal is to continue to deliver as long as I can. I do see myself going for at least another three years.”
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Hamilton made his F1 debut in 2007 with McLaren, won his first title in 2008 and moved to Mercedes in 2013.
Since then he has added five more titles and looks set for a record-equaling seventh this year if he can fend off Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton said the delayed start to the season due to the coronavirus pandemic may have inadvertently extended his career by giving him time to rest and reflect.
“The COVID lockdown meant the first part of the season was cancelled, and while that was a negative in many, many ways, in some ways it gave a lot of life and energy to focus on some other things and that bit of time off was really a bit of breathing space. It has kind of giving me a renewed bit of energy to perhaps go longer.
“Ultimately I want to be able to perform at the level I am performing at now forever, but obviously there is a point at which physicality and the mental side can tail off. I don’t know when that’s going to be, but I don’t see that happening in a particular short term in the next two or three years, so I am definitely going to be here for the foreseeable future.”
Speaking about his motivation to stay in the sport, Hamilton cited the lack of drivers from his background in junior categories.
The 35-year-old is F1’s only Black driver and has taken the lead in campaigning for greater diversity in the sport.
Speaking about his motivation to stay in the sport, Hamilton cited the lack of drivers from his background in junior categories. The 35-year-old is F1’s only Black driver and has taken the lead in campaigning for greater diversity in the sport.
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