Hamilton ‘sure’ contract will be focus now title is won

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Hamilton ‘sure’ contract will be focus now title is won

Formula 1

Hamilton ‘sure’ contract will be focus now title is won

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Lewis Hamilton is sure he will agree a new contract with Mercedes in the coming weeks now he has wrapped up the 2020 drivers championship.

A sublime victory in Turkey gave Hamilton his 10th win of the season and secured his seventh drivers’ championship with three races to spare. He had previously admitted that the lack of negotiations so far — at his own request — meant there were no guarantees he’d be racing for Mercedes in 2021, but with the title secure and the team also constructors champions, Hamilton is expecting a new deal to become a priority.

“Definitely it’s something that we do need to get onto,” Hamilton said. “I just always think, through the year, just that I’ve got a job to do — I’ve got a contract in place, I don’t feel like I should add pressure. It has to be organic and not something that’s forced.

“So … I bet on myself. Naturally there are days when you think, ‘What happens if you start making mistakes? What happens if you get worse all of a sudden, you don’t put in these great performances? Does your value decrease? Does your bargaining power decrease? Does your reputation go off a cliff?’

“I know there’s scenarios in life where you’re like, ‘Let’s sign up real quick,’ so you guarantee your future, and for me, I’ve bet on myself. I do the work. I know myself better than anyone and I know what I can do, and I know how to do it. Better than ever.

“And so, I wanted to put it aside and wait until the job is done. So, probably over these next weeks — we’ve got three weeks in the Middle East, so, now it’s a bit more chilled but I still have three races ahead of me that I want to win. It’s not done but we will get it done, I’m sure.”

Sunday’s success might have given Hamilton his fourth title in a row, but he was particularly emotional after the checkered flag and admits after being so focused on the job at hand, he had allowed himself to look back over his whole career as he closed in on the championship.

“Very rarely do I ever lose control of my emotions. I remember those last few laps and obviously we’re having a discussion whether we’re going to pit. I was just telling myself, ‘Keep it together Lewis, you’ve got this.’ I could feel it getting closer and also knowing that, if I finish where I’m finishing right now, that I’ve got this championship.

“So, all of these emotions were running through me, and I was trying to stop it because I was thinking about my whole career. From when I was five, when I drove in the go-kart, from when we’ve won our first British Championship, driving home with my dad, singing ‘We Are the Champions’ and dreaming of being here — it is right there, minutes away and that was a lot to take in.

“When I came across the line, it really hit me and I just burst into tears. That whole in-lap. And then I really just couldn’t get out of the car because I just couldn’t believe it. I just… for me, I’ve been very strong but I couldn’t have done it without the great man behind me, my dad, who, on the days when I didn’t think I was good enough, or wasn’t going to do well enough, he stood me up and kept me going.

“So, I was thinking of him, I was thinking of my mum, I was thinking of my stepmother Linda, my brother, who all stood by me through thick and thin. I didn’t want the visor to come up and for people to see tears flowing and all of that stuff, because I had always said that I would never let you see me cry. I remember watching other drivers in the past crying and I was like, ‘I am not going to do that’ — but it was too much.”

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