Lewis Hamilton edges towards Mercedes deal as he targets another title tilt

Lewis Hamilton - Getty Images/Burak Akbulut
Lewis Hamilton - Getty Images/Burak Akbulut

Lewis Hamilton will attempt to thrash out a new deal with Mercedes principal Toto Wolff on Monday after heaping praise on the team following a resurgent double podium at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion, who had previously been linked with a move to Ferrari, also dismissed suggestions he could retire as he expressed ambitions to compete again for another world title.

Red Bull’s all-conquering Max Verstappen recorded a fifth dominant victory on Sunday, but Hamilton and George Russell finished second and third on a day of renewed optimism for the once mighty team.

Hamilton started fourth but finished runner-up, with team-mate Russell completing the podium places on a strong afternoon for the Silver Arrows.


There has been speculation for weeks about whether this could be Hamilton’s last season with Mercedes. When asked whether he is willing to sign a new deal, he said: “I have not signed anything yet but we are meeting with Toto [Wolff, team principal] tomorrow [Monday], so hopefully we can get something done.”

When asked whether he was hinting he will now sign, he added: “It wasn’t a subtle hint. We have had so many meetings. And this is another meeting we are having. You can see my performance is not affected by that. But it is always at the back of your mind so once that is done then you can focus more on the future.”

Verstappen’s title lead now stands at 53 points, with a week off before the next round in Canada on June 18. He led all 66 laps at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya to record his fifth win from the opening seven rounds.

It is now 29 races since Hamilton lost to Verstappen at the controversial 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi, and the record-breaking driver has not won a race since.

But following his team’s revitalised performance, he appears to see potential for another title tilt. “I want to keep going for as long as I can,” said Hamilton, sitting alongside Verstappen. “But I want to be where he [Verstappen] is, or racing him at least, and I am super-focused on getting to that point. There is a long way to go, but there is time.”

Hamilton, 38, remains sixth in the drivers’ standings, but says he remains as “hungry” as he ever has done to compete. “My hunger has never shifted,” he added. “I am in a great place in my life and I am really happy where I am in my life. I have got all the ducks in a row so I can focus. I have a great team around me, on and off the track. I feel fit and healthy, and that was a very solid race for me.”

Sergio Perez secured fourth spot after moving ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz with a dozen laps remaining. “It is a big pleasure to drive a car like this,” Verstappen said afterwards. “It showed again today. A win here is incredible. I had another strong weekend and that is what I like and hopefully we can keep that up throughout the year.”