On the day he helped Mercedes to a record-breaking seventh straight constructors' crown, Lewis Hamilton said that while he would like to race in Formula 1 next season, there are “no guarantees” that he will as the reigning six-time world champion has yet to sign a fresh deal with Mercedes. The Briton’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign and while he and Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff have insisted consistently that they want to continue the partnership, they have as yet not sat down to hammer out a new contract.
Wolff intends to stay with Mercedes beyond this year, though he admits what role he fulfills is yet to be decided. Told that Wolff may not be in the team boss role next year, Hamilton who earlier on Sunday won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix replied: “I don’t know if I’m going to be here next year, so it’s not really a concern for me at the moment. He added: “We are in November and it’s crazy that Christmas is not that far away. Naturally, I feel great and feel very strong. I feel like I could keep going for plenty of months.
Lewis Hamilton 'so proud' of Mercedes constructors' title
“I would like to be here next year but there’s no guarantee of that for sure. There’s a lot that excites me of the afterlife, so time will tell.” Those comments were put to Wolff later on Sunday, with the Austrian saying he hopes that Hamilton will stay on. “I guess if he were to decide to step out of Formula 1, which I don’t think is going to happen and I hope is not going to happen, I think we are going to have a pretty frantic driver market out there,” he said. “But I think it’s the moment and the emotions, we are all happy but very tired also. It’s the same for me. I completely relate with his feeling, that you question yourself and you think about all the other things that matter when you switch on the new in the morning and you switch it off in the evening it is all about the struggles that we all face.”
Lawrence Barretto, Senior Writer for F1.com says... Hamilton’s comment that there are “no guarantees” he will be around next year has caused quite the stir – but they should be taken with a pinch of salt. The Briton was speaking in the immediate aftermath of his 93rd Formula 1 Grand Prix victory, when as Wolff said, emotions are running high. The reality is that Hamilton wants to stay in F1. He wants to win his eighth world title. And he wants to do that with Mercedes. But he is also out of contract at the end of the season and with few realistic options available elsewhere on the grid, he has very little leverage. Amid the challenging global conditions, it’s likely Mercedes will be keen to control their finances when it comes to dictating Hamilton’s salary – while the six-time world champion, soon to be seven-time world champion, will feel his worth has increased. This makes for a tricky negotiation. So it’s perhaps not a surprise that Hamilton said what he said, as he looks to get a deal that works for him
Hamilton explains how he turned a poor start into another win
Lewis Hamilton says his latest and 93rd win, which secured Mercedes a 1-2 and record seventh-straight constructors title, boiled down to a considered strategic choice after he was left in third place after the opening lap of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Starting from second behind teammate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton lost out to Max Verstappen and dropped down to P3 on the opening lap. But he stayed out on his medium tires 11 laps longer than Bottas and 12 longer than Verstappen, producing successive fastest laps in that time to extend his lead. He finally pitted from P1 during the Lap 30 Virtual Safety Car – which was triggered by Esteban Ocon's retirement – and emerged back in a lead he would never lose. “Max stopped much earlier than I thought he would and then Valtteri stopped to cover him,” explained Hamilton. “There was no way I was doing the same. Naturally, at the beginning of the race, we get given a bunch of different options of strategy and I understood that the only way to do something was to do something different, to extend as long as I could. “I didn’t know how long the tire would go but I think that’s really where the race was won today.”
2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Hamilton win seals Mercedes constructors' title
It was that start of the race, where Hamilton lost out to his rivals and found himself defending from AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly on the run to Turn 1, which dictated his tactics. “Valtteri got a great start, I thought I would get a better start today but it didn’t turn out the way I’d liked, and I fell to third so then my next strategy was to try and get by the Red Bull,” he explained. “But it was just impossible to get close and in trying to get close I was killing the front tires. So I backed off and just tried to keep distance…” That strategy worked perfectly – especially with the help of the VSC – meaning Hamilton cruised to yet another victory. And with the six-time champions winning and Bottas coming home second, Mercedes now have 479 points this season – and a record seventh consecutive constructors' championship. After the race, Hamilton was full of praise for his team as their amazing unbeaten run since 2014 continues.
Hamilton was not happy with the taste of the 'shoey' on the podium...
“It’s unbelievable!" he said. "It’s unbelievable and to come back year on year and I tell you, while we have great performance, it’s not easy to continue to deliver weekend in and weekend out for everyone. “They’re so precise with how they take the car apart and put it back together weekend in and weekend out. Woohoo! Seven-time champs. That’s something I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren one day.” The only sour note was the ‘shoey’ he performed on the podium with P3 finisher Daniel Ricciardo... “[It tasted like] toe jam,” said Hamilton. “I mean it definitely didn’t taste great, I don’t really like champagne as it is, but it definitely tasted worse!” he concluded. As one of the favourites for victory, Hamilton may well be tasting the champagne again at the next race in Turkey, where he could also seal his own seventh World Championship title.