Lewis Hamilton says he was eager to extend his deal to race for Mercedes after facing stronger competition for this year’s world championship.Max Verstappen.
Hamilton said his desire to continue in the sport came partly from his enjoyment of the competition and also from the work he is doing at Mercedes and within Formula 1 to improve diversity.
“It’s exciting, naturally to be continuing,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans
“I think last year and what you’re seeing now, we’re entering into an interesting phase for me personally because it’s not just the racing it’s what’s coming up, the work that we are doing as a sport in terms of trying to make it more diverse and inclusive space. I’ve been a part of the start of that and I want to continue forwards with that.
“I love working with this team. I feel constantly challenged. I think we’re being challenged more than ever this year which is great. And I love racing.
“This is what I was born to do. I still feel fit, I still feel as committed as ever so I don’t see a reason to stop.”
Last year Hamilton postponed discussions with team principal Toto Wolff on his next contract so late he ended up signing a one-year contract extension which was announced in February. He said his new deal, revealed just five months later, was closely based on the previous contract.
“It was a lot smoother than it was in December and January,” said Hamilton. “I had a lot on over Christmas and new year, it was a stressful period, and naturally we were doing it over Zoom which is not always the most productive when you’re having these conversations.
“This one was much, much easier. Toto and I have spent a lot more time together, face to face. I had chosen the past contract, the one in January, it was meant to be a two-year deal and I asked for it to be a one-year because I knew that obviously we’d been through a pandemic and there was so much change in the world, and also I was unsure whether I would continue or not.
“I started off the year, had the best and most enjoyable start to the year and enjoyed the rollercoaster ride that we’re having. I think that it was really the best thing to get this done before summer break, which is obviously next month, and so now we can just focus on being the best team we can be.”
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