Sir Lewis Hamilton has suggested he could sign his new Mercedes contract very soon following a successful Spanish Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion finished runner-up at Catalunya ahead of teammate George Russell but 24 seconds behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Nevertheless, it was a great weekend for the Silver Arrows whose upgrades appear to have jumped them ahead of Aston Martin and Ferrari pace wise.
This is especially good news for Hamilton whose contract is up at the end of the year and it has been speculated that he could leave if his team’s prospects don’t improve.
But in the post-race press conference, a beaming Hamilton said they were on the right track to challenge Red Bull next season and was asked if he would still be driving for Mercedes in 2024.
‘I haven’t signed anything yet, but I think we are meeting with Toto [Wolff, Mercedes boss] tomorrow so hopefully we can get something done, the 38-year-old replied.
‘It wasn’t a subtle hint. We’ve had so many meetings and this is just another one of the meetings we are having.
‘You could see today my performance is not affected by that, but it’s always something that’s at the back of your mind. Once that’s done then you are able to then focus more and think about the future.
‘I’m working as hard as I can with this team and I see so much strength within the team. They are still so hungry.
‘The podium today was really, really special. To be able to see the excitement in all the people that have worked for such a long time.
‘When we go back right now, there will be great energy in the office. These guys take two seconds to enjoy themselves and be happy and then they’ll be back down into the books and trying to figure out how we can win the next race.’
Sunday’s result has moved Mercedes into second in the constructors’ championship and though they are still far behind Red Bull, Hamilton is confident they can take the fight to their rivals with the British sporting legend determined to win a record-breaking eighth title.
He added: ‘I think we’re going in the right direction and I know we’ve got something in the pipeline moving forward, so I’m hoping by at least the end of the year we can challenge them.
‘But for me, I’m more focused on having the car next year so we can challenge them from day one and the further we continue to push this car this year the more it impacts next year.
‘They’re so far ahead and ultimately Max will continue to win this year and that means they can start their development for next year ahead of everyone else, if they haven’t already.’
The 2023 F1 season continues with the Canadian Grand Prix on 18th June.
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