Lewis Hamilton has told Mercedes he wants his future resolved by Christmas, giving them less than two weeks to agree a new contract. The Brit finished third at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. But he still scooped the F1 Drivers’ Championship for a seventh time in his career, drawing level with Michael Schumacher in the process.
Hamilton has continued to dominate Formula One in 2020.
But while victories on the grid have become a near certainty, the same can’t be said for his Mercedes future.
A new contract with the Silver Arrows is yet to be agreed and that’s led to suggestions the Brit could sign up with a different team for the 2021 season.
And Hamilton has now admitted he wants his Mercedes future resolved, saying on Sunday: “I plan to be here next year, and I ought to be here next year.
“As a team, we have more to do together – more to achieve both in and outside of the sport.
“I hope we can begin discussions this week and then hopefully get it tied up before Christmas.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has also spoken out, saying: “It is going to happen. There is no reason it is not going to happen.
“We always said we would do it after he won the title and then the virus delayed us for another 10 days, two weeks. Now we need to sit down and get it done.”
While Hamilton finished third in Abu Dhabi, he was happy with his performance nevertheless having recently recovered from COVID-19.
The Brit missed the Sakhir Grand Prix because of the coronavirus, with George Russell replacing in his place.
And Hamilton said: “That was a really hard race for me.
“Physically all year, I have been fine, but today I definitely wasn’t.
“I don’t think I have ever been so blown. I am just glad it is over. My body is not feeling great but I have to look on the bright side.
“I made it through, and I didn’t think at any period last week that I would be here.
“I am really just truly grateful for my health, to be alive, and looking forward to recovering over the period we are off, and then getting my body back to where I know it should be.”
Prior to the race, Hamilton had warned fans he wasn’t fully at the races because of the virus.
“I can really feel for those who are and have suffered from it, those who have lost ones from it and I can understand how because it’s a nasty virus,” he explained.
“I’m not one hundred percent.
“I still have some feeling within my lungs but nonetheless, normally I would drive if one of my arms was hanging off.
“That’s what we do as racing drivers and luckily that’s not the case.
“It definitely won’t be the easiest of races physically. I mean, I will manage and give it absolutely everything I’ve got.”