Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Hamilton unsure if he wants another three years at Mercedes

2021 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says he hasn’t decided how much longer he intends to commit to Mercedes for, and may not sign a new deal for a few more months.

He is on course to win his seventh world championship title this season but is yet to negotiate an extension on his current contract which will expire at the end of the year. Team mate Valtteri Bottas has already confirmed he will spend a fifth season at Mercedes in 2021.

Hamilton’s first two contracts with the team were three-year deals. He signed a two-year extension in 2018, and is weighing up how long to commit for beyond the end of this season.

He said negotiations with team principal Toto Wolff will have to account for the long-term plans of both himself and F1 and that when talks do take place with Mercedes, they will would be unlike any previous discussions between them.

“When we do sit down, normally we plan in three-year periods. But of course, we’re in a different time.

“Do I want to continue for three years? That’s also a question; there are many, many questions still to be answered.

“We’re also going into a new era of car in 2022. So it kind of excites me, what could happen in 2022, in terms of what the cars are like.”

Hamilton said he “didn’t know” if a renewal was as simple as “a formality” but that until the 2020 championship was secured, he won’t be considering questions about the future. “I guess at some stage we have to sit down and have the conversation but it’s no priority right now.

“Getting the job done this year is for me, personally, the priority right now, that’s what I’m solely focussed on.”

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He made it clear he is not entertaining thoughts of racing anywhere other than Mercedes. “I haven’t spoken to anybody else,” he said. “I don’t plan to and at some stage Toto and I will sit down and work out our path together, moving forwards.”

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
How much are F1 drivers earning in 2020 – and should their pay be capped?
Hamilton – who is believed to be on an annual retainer of around $40 million at Mercedes – acknowledged the automotive industry had been hard hit in recent times but said that Mercedes, as part of the Daimler group, were returning to stability, despite the pandemic.

“I think if you look short term, there’s going to be companies and businesses that are going to be going out [of business] during this time. Mercedes are, I would say, now on the climb back, I think they’re in a much better place but everyone’s had a big hit this year.”

He said he is encouraged by the Daimler group’s recent announcement of a move towards sustainability and electrification, which aligns with Hamilton’s passionate environmentalism.

“I think the future’s bright,” he said. “There’s going to be some changes, I think a lot came out with the new plan Mercedes brought out, in terms of sustainability, in terms of pushing their cars more to electric and the same with AMG. So I think the future’s bright.”

He said the group’s economic and sustainability outlook would form part of future contract negotiations. “These are all things that we will, naturally, speak about. But I think I’ve earned the right – or the position – so far, to be able to stay for a decent amount of time.

“So time will tell. I can’t really say too much more. Hopefully you’ll hear something in the next couple of months.”

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67 comments on “Hamilton unsure if he wants another three years at Mercedes”

  1. Well, this…does change the things a bit, doesn’t it? It seems like a realistic option that he won’t continue past 2021. I still give the best chance to one year deal with an option for 2022, but if he’s saying he might not sign for several more months, there might be a greater surprise than we expect.

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      23rd October 2020, 14:31

      I think he’ll do one more season with Merc. Why not? You know the car will be good (same cars next year) and competitive. Should be another walk in the park to an 8th championship! I think a commitment beyond 2021 would be a tougher call with the technical reg changes and budget changes. The big pay days are over for the most part, at that point. With the technical reg change coming in 2022, who know who’ll be competitive or not.

  2. I still fully expect him to continue and for at least two seasons. Not continuing before having reached a record-breaking 8th WDC win and or three-digit figures in race wins would come as a surprise to me.

    1. That will be next year.

      1. @jureo That’s what I meant. If he’d stop after this season, he’d stay at seven WDCs and a maximum of 97 race wins.

        1. And just before the budget cap effects kick in

        2. I mean extend for 1 more year.

    2. If he’s got any sense he’ll quit at the end of next season as Mercedes will most likely lose their huge advantage over the rest of the field for the 2022 season

      1. If he’s got any sense

        Very funny!

  3. I expect Hamilton to commit to Mercedes for another two seasons at least. While his decision to move to Mercedes was easily the best decision of his life, retiring after this season would be the worst decision of his life. Why retire after matching Schumacher’s championship record? Obviously you’re supposed to beat it and 2021 is probably an easy shot at doing that!

  4. He should wrap up 8 titles by the end of 2021. Statistics wise he would have already cemented himself as the GOAT.

    I’m pretty sure he’ll either retire by the end of 2021 or do something more emotionally driven… maybe drive a season or two at Ferrari to revive the fortunes of a failing legacy.. or better yet.. return to Mclaren and try to make them front runners again.

    1. I think after 2021 when he has wrapped up his 8th title, he should go, win at Formula E (Merc already has a team there) and Indy 500 in 2022; there by cementing his status as the absolute GOAT of racing.

      Post that, he can go deal with those who unnecessarily try to discredit him:
      2023: Race in in his own Extreme E team (to defeat Rosberg)
      2024: Win Le Mans and hence the Twipple Cwown before Alonso :)
      2025-2026 : Write a book on how Jackie Stewart is wrong about him and also on the mechanics swap of 2016. (Lewis promised this in a press conference after all :) h**ps://twitter.com/F1/status/1065603305018195969)

      1. 2027 release a hit hip hop album
        2028 run for prime minister of the UK?

    2. Not by far the goat, sorry.
      Sure one of the all time greats, but not on the same league as Schumacher.
      Just take a look at MS’s records over teammates, compared to Lewis’s

      1. schu’s contract meant that his team mates had always to give way to him !

        1. Name which races.

          1. Why, don’t you know? Thought you were a fan.

        2. Not only was Schumacher given a clear number one status, but his teammates were not as talented as Hamilton’s. Hamilton had Button and Alonso. Schumacher had Brundle and Herbert.

        3. Giving way doesn’t mean being slower in quali, which they generally always did.
          And by the way, team orders were only given a couple of times in ten years.
          Ask yourself why.

          1. Absolutely there’s no point saying schumacher’s team mates were not allowed to challenge, he was just far superior to them, however we’ve gotta admit schumacher’s team mates were generally worse than hamilton’s team mates, schumacher had more challenge from outside the team.

          2. @esploratore
            It really depends which ones you consider.
            Sure, Alonso was by far better than any Schumacher’s teammate, but Kovalainen and Bottas are definitely not that different from Barrichello and Massa.
            MSC wiped the floor with both brazilians (look especially at his impressive qualifying record), Hamilton did not the same with the finns.

  5. I can understand Hamilton, he is giving up very important things, to be the best.

    1 more season and he will overtake Schumacher in all stats.

    Then what? What is the difference he can make? He could try to get a win with Ferrari? Or just retire at 105 wins and 8 titles. Nobody will achieve this kind of dominance again, as anti-domination rules come to life.

    In any case he has enough stats and seasons for 2 greats. Essentially doubling Seb Vettel, who is #3.

    3 more years are to much.

  6. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    23rd October 2020, 8:04

    So that means he’ll shortly sign for another 3 years for a nice amount of money. Hamilton and Wolff have both shown, especially this year, that they are absolutely full of it. Don’t expect anything else for this then.

    It’s funny, I watched back some 2016 races recently and the joy/fighting spirit you could hear over the radio when he was battling (or winning) Rosberg was insane. Now all that’s left is some weak cheer and desperate attempts at trying to convince the audience his situation is more desperate than it really is. ‘These tyres arent gonna last’ > drives another 25 laps being 2 tenths of a second faster than the nearest rival per lap. It’s just not fun to watch and I’m sure Hamilton knows that too. He especially is very sensitive for what people think (hence the comments over the radio and in front of the press), so even he knows several of his titles are meaningless. The longer he stays at Mercedes, the more worthless titles he obtains. Even if he matches Schumacher or gets more than Michael, he’ll always be ‘yeah but Hamilton did it in an overpowered Mercedes’. Regardless of how good Ferrari were at the time. And Hamilton knows this.

    1. Your pain is palpable.

      But you’d better brace yourself, because you’re going to endure a long time listening to lots of people referring to Hamilton as the GOAT. I shall spare your feelings and will henceforth only refer to him as the most successful driver of all time.

      1. Honestly, I am not sure about it.
        Michael’s domination over teammates is something Hamilton failed to match.

        1. @liko41 That’s because Michael’s teammates were terrible. I don’t see any achievement in beating Massa or Barrichello.

          1. Massa was his teammate for one season. Barrichello went to Ferrari with many predicting he’d match or beat Schumacher.

            Massa was never the same after his accident, was about 6-7 years passed his best yet was still matching Bottas for pace in races.

          2. @mashiat
            Massa and Barrichello went closer to a world title than Bottas ever did.
            And they were pretty solid drivers at their peak.
            Not one season they came as close to MSC as Bottas or Kovalainen did with Hamilton.

          3. @liko41

            However, Button, Alonso and Rosberg all managed to get quite close to a world title. Remind me how many MSC teammates were actual WDCs? Was it more than 3?


    2. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      23rd October 2020, 14:51

      I wouldn’t say it’s “meaningless”. After all, both Hamilton and Merc had to put in the time and effort. They “earned”, even if their car was greatly superior over their competitors (thats on their competitors, not them). Look, I’m a huge Ferrari fan and Schumacher fan. But, you can not ignore how great this Merc team (including Hamilton) have been since the hybrid era.

      The only difference I see between Ham and Sch. Is that Hamilton never really drove a dog of a car in his entire career. Schumacher drove a crappy Ferrari for his first couple of years and that Jordon (for one race). But overall, Hamilton does do similar things Schumacher did. Ask the guy to increase the gap by an unrealistic amount leading up to a pitstop. He did it. They are both greats because they had the ability to do things your average driver couldn’t. I don’t order the greats as its subjective and not to mention that many drove in different era’s (maybe some overlap). But there is no denying that Hamilton sits with the best with likes of Schumacher, Senna, Fangio, Graham Hill, Clark, Prost, Ascari etc.

  7. Seems to me a man that still wants to gather all his thoughts, given his found love for sustainability and equality. In a rapid evolving environment it might be wise to take the time for this. And he is in an excellent position to do so, since he will have choice given his achievements in the sport.

  8. Buy Lauda stakes in Mercedes like Wolff does and continue being family to the Automotive Giant. Your legacy will go on and on.

    1. That’s an interesting angle.

      Would be a better investment than Vettel’s Aston Martin shares: £19 to year low of 27.5p after dilution.

      Mercedes have certainly had a huge role in Lewis’s F1 career. Would seem odd to go elsewhere now.

      1+1 (early) option makes sense.

  9. Mercedes are all but certain to take championships next year, so a one year deal with them doesn’t give Hamilton much leverage, either sign up to what Mercedes offer and collect your record breaking championship, or we let another driver have it

    But for 2022 and beyond with the uncertainty of the rule change, having the best current driver and consistency is invaluable to Mercedes, so the only way Hamilton has any leverage is a three year deal

    1. If he signs a 3 year deal and Mercedes turn out not to be on top anymore with the new 2022 cars, he’ll be stuck. So he won’t sign a 3 year deal he can’t get out of for the 2023 season. I expect a 2 year extension.

      1. That would be my take too if he can get it and I don’t see Mercedes playing hardball to stop him from doing that.

        I think they’d be pretty confident of retaining him after 2022 if their 2022 is of the same class as their current vehicles which I think we all expect.

  10. I don’t really care what Hamilton does in the future. I see Hamilton, I see Mercedes and i see boring repetitive events with barely any excitement as to who will win. These are not races, not in the true spirit of what F1 was and what F1 should be. Apart from the minor placings these ‘faux’ races are clearly more of a demonstration run to show how far ahead of the other teams Mercedes really are. All these comments really are nothing more [ IMO ] than click bait. I would speculate that Hamilton/Wolff are holding out for suitable increases from Mercedes as the domination builds. Personally i would love to see Hamilton and Wolff out of the series and see someone else take the laurel wreaths for real hard racing. I would also recommend for those that enjoy edge of the seat racing to have a look at Moto GP. Eight different winners so far in what is a cracker season of hard competitive racing for each and every lap, wheel to wheel, and then some. It’s truly great.

    1. @kenji
      FOrmula one has always been about domination.
      Fangio, Clark, Lauda. McLaren Honda, Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull and now Mercedes.
      What should F1 be, in your opinion? A crazy circus like Indycar? Never been.
      Get your facts straight.

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        23rd October 2020, 15:32

        Indycar is great in its own way (except ovals)! It is just a different formula. F1 is NOT about “domination”. It is a series that is built around the idea of teams constructing their own cars to complete within a set of technical regs opposed to a competition running a “stock” formula of cars. In turn, may result in periods of team domination. Very different!

        1. @flyingferrarim
          Not that different, actually.
          “Boring repetitive wins” are not something new in F1 and that’s actually a good sign: it means it’s not rigged as Motogp probably is.
          “Real hard racing” (as @kenji put it) is not something you see very often, at least not for podium places and that’s exactly the reason why we are still remembering Dijon 1979. It it was an ordinary thing, no one would talk about it anymore.

          1. @ Fantomius…Your suggestion that Moto GP ‘is probably rigged’ is quite silly. Any evidence to support your theory?

        2. @ Hiland…well said. Exactly so.

    2. Off you pop then @kenji

      Before you go tho, let me just remind you that there will just be another team that takes the lead at the front, were Mercedes to lose their current period of dominance…. altho maybe that’s just what you want


    3. Why is the MotoGP season like that? Could it have anything to do with the best rider being out?

      1. @ Sebsronnie…There is no doubt that with Marc Marquez out there has been a plethora of different riders taking the cake. That demonstrates that when one team/rider dominate the action that real competition is compressed. MM certainly is something else but he’s been beaten many times. He doesn’t always get it easy and that’s where we see some of the very best motorsports action that’s currently available. How anyone can derive pleasure from watching Hamilton/Bottas winning repeatedly is beyond me.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd October 2020, 13:48

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that MotoGP is better this year – it’s more unpredictable, if that’s what you’re implying. We saw Brad Binder win a race and now he’s in P13 or something. Is that great racing? Is his win legitimate? Nothing against Brad Binder or any driver who won or came close to winning this year. It’s almost lottery time for MotoGP riders in the sense that many of them can win a race.

      Oddly enough, Joan Mir might win the championship without winning a single race. Would La Liga be a better league if all teams stood a good chance of winning the championship or would that require the skill level to become average for that to happen?

      F1 is exactly how F1 should be. You have Mercedes with Hamilton achieving perfection and Red Bull and Ferrari fighting to dethrone them. Ferrari got caught with its hand in the cookie jar and now 3 teams are feeling the pain of that…

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        23rd October 2020, 15:45

        I think his point with MotoGP is that there is a lot more mixing up (aka passing) and the riders are typically running closer together. Either way I don’t think Kenji understands the grassroots of F1 in how and why it is the way it is.

        The reason MotoGP has more wheel to wheel racing is largely because the braking zones are so long. I mean we are talking a 100 to 250 meter difference in braking zone length (depending on corner and speed) when compared to F1.

  11. Looks like Mercedes not giving Lewis straight answers on Merc’s 3 years F1 plan. If Mercedes not going to be around for long and consider only supplying engines, they should backed Red Bull engine freeze from 2022 onward.

    1. With the best power unit in F1 Mercedes did back the freeze

      1. Philip…That’s an no brainer isn’t it? Mercedes would be more than happy to have their superior advantage ‘baked in’ until ’26.

  12. What a relief, do most of us a favour and clear off out of F1. Your constant whining and finger pointing has done nothing to improve this sport and your legacy only winning in the most dominant team in history is as paper thin as your intelligence!

    Oh and do a fellow vegan a favour and remove the HAM from your name – its insulting! All Pigs Matter!

    1. Dude, get a life.

      1. Quite the charmer eh?
        And to say that something is insulting, when you’ve literally just insulted one of the worlds greatest sports stars, is the definition of insulting – oh the irony!

        And that bit about vegans and HAM – you HAVE to be taking the mick, right? I mean, you want him to change his name because YOU are a vegan?


  13. I have the feeling there’s something more in this than meets the eye.
    It’s definitely NOT normal for a worldchamp not to have a contract for next years three months before his actual one is due to expire.
    If I had to guess, I’d say Mercedes is reconsidering its commitment to him, not the other way around.
    His massive salary appears no longer justified, given how close Bottas’ performances are to his. Now, with George Russell in danger for 2021, it would make sense for Mercedes to place him alongside Valtteri.
    Their technical edge and the finn’s experience and speed are a decent safety net.

    1. Personally, I think Lewis is waiting to find out the outcome of any possible stake in the team being taken by Ineos.
      It’s one thing for him as a committed environmentalist to just sit in the billboard (car), but its another to actually be an employee of a company whit such a sketchy profile


      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        23rd October 2020, 15:55

        That is actually a very interesting thought! Especially since Hamilton has been selling off a lot of oil burning cars recently and taking steps for a greener life style.

  14. I think he will actually end up in Formula E, driving for Merc, after 2021.
    Watch that space.

  15. We never know…

  16. Schumacher won two championships in a row with a car inferior to the Williams and said this is going to be too easy I’m going to set a real challenge and make a dysfunctional Ferrari great again which he did.

    We know Hamilton is quicker than Rosberg and Bottas. Now it’s time to set himself a real challenge otherwise he’ll be remembered as a guy that went trophy hunting at Mercedes.

  17. The sooner he gets out and joins a competition where he competes for real the better. Or do something else he feels worthy. He can break Schumacher’s records but I would not want to have people constantly saying that it was the car. The car. The car. What is life about? Lewis has matured greatly over the years and I hold him in high regard. He has attempted to better himself and he has succeeded. What ever he does I wish him all the best. There is more to life than just oneself. Far more. He is intelligent and I can see in his eyes he is having a hard think about it. If I were him I would consider matching Shumacher’s record and leaving it at that. But that’s me. Each to their own. If he went to another competition that was competitive and kicked butt I would champion him no question. The domination of Merc’ (all credit where credit is due) is just getting sower. It’s just become a bit of a shame. Join a sport Lewis. This is just entertainment. Leave people wondering. i would respect you even more than now. Leave a record that is actually attainable for someone to break where it is an actual competition. That would be good. I would regard you as a legend. A legend.

  18. I’d love it if he retired and left. But I expect him to stay for another 3 years, despite what he says here.

  19. Hamilton has proven to be a very intelligent person, as well as the best Formula 1 driver of his generation (the one following the Schumacher era).
    It is reasonable to assume that Hamilton will sign a 1-year contract with Mercedes.
    Because the cars competing next year will be the same as this year, there is no question that Hamilton will win his No. 8 championship in 2021.
    Perhaps then he will retire or try to continue winning championships with another team. Time will tell.

  20. Not very good news for other drivers hanging around potentially waiting for nothing.

    1. In the stone sober clarity of day, I realise how stupid my comment was. Of course HAM will be at MERC next year.

  21. He always says something along these lines during contract talks. He wants more money.

    The man with almost $300m & that has houses, cars & luxuries all over the world wants more money.

  22. At least he should be the highest paid driver on the grid – it’s about time he earned the top salary.

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