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Lewis Hamilton explains why he only signed a one-year contract extension at Mercedes

Ben Burrows
·2-min read
Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton (EPA)
Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton (EPA)

Lewis Hamilton has moved to explain why he only signed a one-year extension to his Mercedes contract.

The seven-time world champion ended speculation over his immediate future by penning a new deal last month ahead of the start of the 2021 season later this month.

It remains to be seen what happens after that with other teams, including Aston Martin, sure to be interested with retirement from the sport altogether also an option.

Hamilton for his part is happy to keep his long-term plans in his own hands.

“I am in the fortunate position where I have achieved most of the stuff that I wanted to achieve up to this point. So there is no real need to plan too far into the future,” he said at the launch of the team’s 2021 car.

“We are living in an unusual period of time so I just wanted one year, then we can talk about if we do more, and keep adding it by one if we have to.

“In the past it was just about winning world championships. Last year, there was a lot of discussion about equality, inclusion and there was a lot of talk.

“This year, it is all about pushing for diversity and really making sure that action is taken. That is at the core of the drive for me, but we exist to win and that is what we are working towards and it is also my goal to deliver that.”

Testing for the new season gets under way in Bahrain a week on Friday before Hamilton opens his bid for an unprecedented eighth championship in the Gulf Kingdom a fortnight later.

With few changes to the rulebook over the winter, Hamilton’s Mercedes team will start as the favourites to complete a remarkable eighth drivers’ and constructors’ double.

“The launch day of a new car is always a really exciting one,” said Hamilton ahead of his 15th season.

“It’s great to reveal to the world the result of everyone’s hard work at the factories and to see some of my team-mates in person, which has been so rare during the past year.

“I’ve been in touch with the engineers through the winter, keeping track of their preparations as I prepare myself for the season ahead. The excitement has been building and building, so now I just can’t wait to get out on track in the W12.”

Additional reporting by PA

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