formula 1 update: Lewis Hamilton to make Mercedes decision ’soon’ as Toto Wolff talks up new contract

formula 1 update: Lewis Hamilton to make Mercedes decision ’soon’ as Toto Wolff talks up new contract

Lewis Hamilton, GOAT OF F1, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton 2016 Malaysia 2.jpg
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Born
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton[1]

7 January 1985 (age 36)[2]

Occupation
Parent(s)
  • Anthony Hamilton
  • Carmen Larbalestier
Family Nicolas Hamilton (brother)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality
United Kingdom
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British
Car number 44[note 1]
Entries 269 (269 starts)
Championships 7 (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
Wins 97
Podiums 168
Career points 3847
Pole positions 99
Fastest laps 54
First entry 2007 Australian Grand Prix
First win 2007 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix
Last entry 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix
2020 position 1st (347 pts)
Website lewishamilton.com
Signature
Signature de Lewis Hamilton png.png
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Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE HonFREng (born 7 January 1985) is a British racing driver. He currently competes in Formula One for Mercedes, having previously driven for McLaren from 2007 to 2012. In Formula One, Hamilton has won a joint-record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher), while he holds the outright records for the most wins (97), pole positions (99) and podium finishes (168), amongst others.

Born and raised in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Hamilton was signed to the McLaren young driver programme in 1998. This later resulted in a Formula One drive with McLaren in 2007, making Hamilton the first black driver to race in the sport. That season, Hamilton set numerous records as he finished runner-up to Kimi Räikkönen by one point. The following season, he won his maiden title in dramatic fashion—making a crucial overtake on the last corner of the last lap in the last race of the season—to become the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history. After four more years with McLaren, Hamilton signed with Mercedes in 2013.

Changes to the regulations for 2014 mandating the use of turbo-hybrid engines came at the start of a highly successful period for Hamilton, during which he has won six further drivers’ titles. Hamilton won consecutive titles in 2014 and 2015 during an intense rivalry with teammate Nico Rosberg to match his hero Ayrton Senna‘s three World Championships. Following Rosberg’s retirement, Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel became Hamilton’s closest rival in two intense championship battles, and Hamilton twice overturned mid-season points deficits to claim consecutive titles again in 2017 and 2018. Hamilton won his third and fourth titles in a row in 2019 and 2020, respectively, equalling Schumacher’s record of seven drivers’ titles.

Hamilton has been credited with furthering Formula One’s global following by appealing to a broader audience outside the sport, in part due to his high-profile lifestyle, environmental and social activism and his exploits in music and fashion. He has become a prominent advocate in support of activism to combat racism and push for increased diversity in motorsport. Hamilton was listed in the 2020 issue of Time as one of the 100 most influential people globally and was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has declared that talks to extend Lewis Hamilton‘s contract will soon be underway, after the seven-time world champion announced his intention to stay in Formula One for at least another year. The 36-year-old recently penned a one-year deal to keep him with the Silver Arrows until the end of the current season.

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Hamilton has made a strong start to his Drivers’ Championship title defence with two Grand Prix wins from the opening three rounds.

He held Max Verstappen at arm’s length to draw first blood in Bahrain, before sealing a comfortable victory at Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix with Mercedes firmly on top throughout the weekend.

The Stevenage-born racer’s future on the grid is currently uncertain as a result of his contract length, and it has been speculated that Williams star and Mercedes junior driver George Russell could be in line to fill the decorated champion’s seat next season.

However, it seems as though Hamilton and the Silver Arrows are keen to extend their successful working relationship.

Wolff has revealed that the 97-time Grands Prix winner will be approached over a new deal, claiming that negotiations will not go down to the wire on this occasion as they did last year.

@LewisHamilton

“We have talked about it before and it’s good to see [he’s said] it out in public,” Wolff told the F1 website.

“Like I’ve always said, there’s no reason why the marriage shouldn’t continue. We learned our lesson [with the last contract] that we wouldn’t leave it until the Christmas holidays.

“That was definitely taking it too far. I think we are in a very good place and our relationship is growing stronger every year.

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“It’s about time to give it a little nudge and start to speak, and this is what we are going to do soon.”

Hamilton is aiming to cement his status as F1’s greatest driver with an eighth Drivers’ Championship title this season.

He has already surpassed fellow seven-time winner Michael Schumacher’s tally of race wins, podiums and pole positions.

The former McLaren man admitted at the Portuguese Grand Prix that he is hopeful of keeping his place on the grid next year, explaining that his participation in a recent test day underlines his commitment to F1’s future.

“Well firstly, I don’t ever volunteer for test days and it’s probably one of the first ones I have volunteered for, so I immediately regretted it when I woke up in the morning on the day,” Hamilton joked at a press conference.

“I was like: ‘Damn it!’. But no honestly, firstly it was at a really great track to test at, so I enjoyed the day and the weather was good.

“And I plan to be here next year and I want to help Pirelli and help lead towards them having a better product.

“It’s something that the drivers all have wished for I think, better performance, and so it was important for me to gauge where the starting point is and what differences I can help with.”

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Wolff planning to ‘nudge’ Hamilton on talks over new Mercedes contract soon

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Lewis Hamilton’s current contract was a long-running saga that was only resolved just weeks before pre-season testing began – and even then was only for one more year. His Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has no intention of letting it run that long next time around, and says he plans to nudge Hamilton on the subject soon.

Ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend, seven-time world champion Hamilton said his decision to volunteer to do tyre testing – which is something he not usually the first in line to do – showed how seriously he plans on being in Formula 1 next year.

When those comments were put to Wolff, the Silver Arrows boss said he was encouraged by what Hamilton said and is hopeful the partnership will continue into what would be a 10th season.

“We have talked about it before and it’s good to see [he’s said] it out in public,” said Wolff. “Like I’ve always said, there’s no reason why the marriage shouldn’t continue.”

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He added: “We learned our lesson [with the last contract] that we wouldn’t leave it until the Christmas holidays. That was definitely taking it too far.

It’s about time to give it a little nudge and start to speak and this is what we are going to do soon

Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal

“I think we are in a very good place and our relationship is growing stronger every year. It’s about time to give it a little nudge and start to speak and this is what we are going to do soon.”

If Hamilton stays, there has been plenty of chatter surrounding the second seat at Mercedes, with many believing it is a straight fight between the incumbent Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes junior George Russell, who impressed when he stood in for Hamilton at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

When asked what it come down to in deciding between the two, assuming Hamilton re-signs, Wolff said: “I hope one day that I wake up and it becomes clear.

“I think we need to look into the season and how the next races unfold and then it is a judgement call I believe. Not a very scientific response but I haven’t got any at the moment.”

Wolff will get another chance to assess both drivers when the Spanish Grand Prix – round four of the 23-race calendar – takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend.

Toto Wolff believes ‘exceptional’ is the new normal for Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton’s impressive performances are being repeated with such regularity that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff now believes “exceptional” is the new normal for Britain’s seven-time world champion.

The Mercedes driver delivered another mighty display in the Algarve on Sunday to race past championship rival Max Verstappen and team-mate Valtteri Bottas and win for a second time this season.

He will head into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix with an eight-point advantage over Red Bull’s Verstappen in his quest for an eighth world crown.

Nico Rosberg, the only name other than Hamilton’s on Formula One’s championship trophy in the last seven seasons, called his former rival’s drive “phenomenal”.

And Wolff, who has overseen Hamilton’s remarkable run of success at Mercedes, said: “We had a good car but Lewis just drove an immaculate race.

“It makes no sense to talk about these exceptional Lewis performances because they have been quite regular. It is his standard now and he sets that standard to himself.”

Verstappen may well be ruing another missed opportunity. He might have started on pole but for running wide at the fourth corner in qualifying.

Max Verstappen congratulates Lewis Hamilton following Sunday's race
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Max Verstappen congratulates Lewis Hamilton following the race

Another wobble in the race enabled Hamilton to close in and pass him on lap 11 of 66, while he also failed to obtain a bonus point after exceeding track limits in a late salvo to claim the fastest lap.

Verstappen was quick to offer Hamilton his congratulations in the immediate aftermath of their third showdown this year, but Wolff has followed rival team principal Christian Horner in predicting the niceties might not last.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Horner said: “It wouldn’t be unpredictable to say something could happen between the two of them.”

And following Hamilton’s 97th win, Wolff added: “Lewis and Max are not crossing the line on the track yet because the risk of losing points is just too big. But it is going to go head-to-head and certainly the rivalry may increase.

“However, I see Lewis completely relaxed about the situation. He enjoys working with the team and getting us up to speed because we were not there at the start of the season.”

Indeed, Red Bull headed into the new campaign with the speediest machine, but Mercedes top both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

Wolff said: “I rely on probability and maths and based on those facts I wouldn’t have expected to be on pole twice and win two races. That was not what my brain would have told me.

“I am never confident we are on top of the regulations and I am never confident we will continue to improve in relation to Red Bull. It is going to be a neck-and-neck fight for a long time.”

The Formula One circus pitches up in Barcelona this weekend for the Spanish Grand Prix with Red Bull’s tantalising tilt at prising the spotlight away from showstoppers Mercedes topping the bill.
a racing car on a road: Hamilton got the better of Verstappen (rear) in Portugal - can the Mercedes man do the same in Barcelona?
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Three races in and against pre-season predictions it is Lewis Hamilton who leads Max Verstappen by eight points arriving at the fourth leg of the championship.Wins last Sunday in Portugal and in the opener in Bahrain leave the seven-time champion in his customary habitat at the top of the F1 drivers’ tree.
Barcelona is a track the teams know intimately as the usual venue for pre-season testing, and with its reputation as a circuit where overtaking opportunities are few and far between the onus will be on Saturday’s qualifying to command a prime front row seat on Sunday’s grid.Hamilton is seeking his fifth consecutive win in Catalonia, with three of his last four victories delivered from pole.Should he top the time sheets on Saturday he will celebrate his 100th pole position, after being denied that honour by his teammate Valtteri Bottas last weekend in Portimao.Verstappen and Red Bull’s emergence as serious title contenders not only has F1 fans gripping their sofas’ arm rests or smart phones — Mercedes chief Toto Wolff says he’s enjoying the same sensation he felt at the first signs Mercedes could muscle in on the then Red Bull roadshow seven years ago.

“When we were behind in testing and in Bahrain, it’s a buzz that I have not felt in the team since 2013 when we had that first sniff that we could be there,” said Wolff. “The whole place is excited and continues to be excited. I’d like to be happy after Abu Dhabi at the end of the season but for the time being, we’ll take it one step at a time.”

While the 2021 Hamilton continues to display all the hallmarks that have turned him into a serial champion – often flawless race craft, consummate professionalism and steely focus, Verstappen this season has changed.

The Dutch driver seems to have his eye on the bigger picture, as F1’s managing director Ross Brawn pointed out.

 

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