Lewis Hamilton says he wants to continue in Formula 1 until at least the end of 2025 as he prepares for contract negotiations to extend his stay at Mercedes.
Hamilton is out of contract at the end of next season, when he’ll be 38 years old. Another two-year deal would take him past his 40th birthday.
But the seven-time champion has showed no signs of slowing down in his 16th season despite the downturn in Mercedes’s competitiveness that’s left him facing the first winless campaign of his career.
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Ahead of anticipated talks over the 2022–23 off-season, Hamilton said he wanted to stay with Mercedes for at least two more years beyond the end of his current deal.
“I’m not putting a limit on it, to be honest,” he said, per Autosport. “I’m planning to do a multiyear deal with my team.
“I think there’s more stuff to achieve together. I just don’t know [how long].”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said earlier in the season that Hamilton had told him he had another five years in him, and speaking at the Mexico City Grand Prix, he revealed he expected talks to start after the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.
“We haven’t started any talks,” he said, per Crash. “We want to definitely finish the season and then find some quiet time over the winter like we did last time around.”
Wolff also suggested a new deal would see an expansion of Hamilton’s off-track partnership with the team, a key component of his previous deal, which has seen team and driver commit to diversity targets within the organisation and Formula 1 more broadly.
“He’s much more than a driver to us now,” Wolff said. “And although we’re not talking about a career end, it’s also important to speak about his role as an ambassador for Mercedes and the many sponsors we have and the implication he can have in our wider universe.”
An extended Lewis Hamilton stay would be a potential spanner in the works for Daniel Ricciardo, who is heavily tipped to sign for Mercedes next year as a reserve driver before attempting a full-time comeback in 2024.
Mercedes is the only one of the three frontrunning teams with a seat out of contract in 2024, with both Hamilton and teammate George Russell up for renewal before the end of next season.
Candid Ricciardo reveals 2023 plans | 00:38
Russell is considered the future of the team and a shoo-in for a renewal after his strong maiden season with the team, leaving Hamilton as the only potential avenue into a silver race seat, though the Briton has now closed off that route with talk of a new deal.
Ricciardo, however, insists that a decision to sign as a reserve driver wouldn’t be dependent on a race seat freeing up in the following season.
“I don’t think it’s relative to what others do,” he said. “Opportunities will arise when they do.
“I’m not banking on anyone doing something so I can find my way. I want to take the time necessary, keep a little bit of distance to the sport and rebuild myself, but then if something makes sense in 2024, come back with a vengeance and have some fun and hopefully race at the front.”
The Australian said he hopes Hamilton re-signs so that he might have another chance to race him in a potential career revival.
“The truth is I want him to stay in the sport,” he said. “He’s one of the greatest ever to do it, and I think competing with him, going wheel to wheel with him, is fun.
“It’s normally at the pointy end, so I certainly wish to do that more in the future, and that’s where it currently lies.”
World champion Jenson Button has cast doubt on Ricciardo’s plan for a year out in light of offers from lower order teams to keep in racing in 2023.
“I really struggle to see him coming back to a competitive team after having a year out,” he told Sky Sports.
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Ricciardo has two races left in his truncated McLaren contract following his standout performance at the Mexico City Grand Prix, where he recovered from 15th to seventh after a late pit stop.
It came off the back of the United States Grand Prix a week earlier, where he finished second last in one of the least competitive showings of his McLaren career.
“You need short-term memory in this sport,” he wrote on his website. “So after how Austin went … on Wednesday in Mexico I had a spring back in my step.
“I enjoy days like Sunday and wish there were more of them, but I just take days like Mexico for what they are these days and not overthink them.
“I know I can still race and I know I can still drive.
“[I’m] just happy to lean on the car and show a bit of pace, that‘s not something I feel like I’ve been able to do.”