After 300 starts, Hamilton says he’s enjoying F1 ‘more than ever’

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After 300 starts, Hamilton says he’s enjoying F1 ‘more than ever’

Formula 1

After 300 starts, Hamilton says he’s enjoying F1 ‘more than ever’

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Lewis Hamilton says he is enjoying Formula 1 more than ever and has “got plenty of fuel left in the tank” to continue in the sport long-term.

The seven-time world champion started his 300th grand prix in France last Sunday, finishing second to Max Verstappen. His current contract runs until the end of 2023 — at which point he will be 38 — but he suggests he is likely to extend his Mercedes deal for some time to come given how much he is enjoying his environment.

“I firstly just want to be grateful to get to this point,” Hamilton said. “But I still feel fresh and still feel like I’ve got plenty of fuel left in the tank. So, I’m enjoying what I’m doing. I’m really, really proud and enjoying arriving every day and working with this incredible group of people.

“I’m also enjoying working with the sport more than ever. We’ve got some great people leading the sport and having great conversations about the direction we’re going as a sport, so I’m enjoying it more than ever.

“I would say in that space, of course, I want to get back to winning ways and that’s going to take time, but I’m sure we’ll sit down at some stage and talk about the future. But again, just with our team, I always want to continue to be building. It’s one thing having races, but it’s also continuing the work that we do outside and doing more, which I think Mercedes and us can always do more, and we will.”

Hamilton reiterated that he is enjoying the 2022 season more now that Mercedes is making steps with its car after struggling with the way it handled in the opening rounds.

“100%. The beginning of the year was not miserable, because there could always be way worse, but just in terms of… I would say from a driver’s perspective, understanding this car was so confusing. We were trying so many different things — we’re trying to advance and (you had) no trust in the machine beneath you, particularly the rear end, and that’s really kind of held us back a little bit.

“So to now be in a position where we’re starting to understand the car a little bit more, we’re seeing more consistency, it’s given us much more of an enjoyable drive. We still lack performance in some of those areas but we’re slowly getting there. But it’s like small chips, just constantly just chipping away at it. Unfortunately, you can’t take big leaps at the moment. But who knows, maybe one big leap will come at some stage and we’ll be right there.”

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