Lewis Hamilton insists he will not be rushed into signing a new contract with Mercedes, and he’s interested to hear more about the future direction of Formula 1.
Mercedes and Hamilton have been discussing a new deal for the four-time world champion since the end of last year, with his current contract due to expire at the end of this season. While talks are ongoing, Liberty Media is set to present its blueprint for the sport’s future to the teams on Friday morning, and Hamilton says such information could play a part in his long-term racing future.
“We’re still in discussions,” Hamilton said. “I’m very relaxed about it. There’s not really much to say. I’m not really in a rush. We’re just taking our time, talking about it as and when we want to it. It’s not a stressful thing for either of us.
“It’s quite an interesting time for Formula 1. Tomorrow, there’s some sort of announcement or discussions of what is happening in F1 moving forward. It’s always good to wait to hear some of those and see the future of F1. See if that could … for sure that could or could not have [an impact] on decisions you make in terms of length or whatever it is you end up doing in F1.
“The next contract is probably the most important one of my career. The last contract was the most important up until that point and then the next one will be even more important than the last one. Also the length, your decision to how long you want to commit to being in F1 is becoming more and more important moving forwards for me being I’m at the latter end of my career. It’s one not to be rushed into.
“There is no rush and I will not be rushed into it. Ultimately, you want to have all of the information so you can make the most knowledgeable decision, I guess.”
Asked if there was a chance he could decide not to continue in F1 based on what Liberty presents, Hamilton responded: “No, I wasn’t hinting at anything.
“I hear there is some sort of announcement to be made. It’ll be interesting to see what is happening with F1 as I am an integral part of it so it’ll be great to know how it will all sit for us. Maybe it’ll affect you guys. I don’t know. So I’m sure you guys are interested to see. Maybe it affects the media business. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it affects the driver market, maybe it doesn’t. That’s why I’m interested to know.
“It’s actually come at a pretty good time because I still haven’t put pen to paper so I think it’s good for the team and good for us. I think it’s important we do take our time because you should never rush anything. The team is not saying they are talking to other drivers. I’ve never ever, since I’ve been with the team, gone and spoken to another team.”