Why “Details” Decide Lewis Hamilton’s Future

(Motorsport-Total.com) – “I don’t see any particular hurry,” says Lewis Hamilton, although his Mercedes contract expires after the 2020 Formula 1 season. The six-time world champion is in a very comfortable position: Mercedes would like to keep him, some other teams would like to hire him. So Hamilton probably has enough options for 2021.

Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton explains what he thinks about his future Zoom download

But he doesn’t want to know much about it at the moment. “To be honest: I haven’t really thought about it yet. I don’t know when we’ll sit down and talk.” According to Hamilton, it will probably be ready “in a few months”.

For comparison: Charles Leclerc at Ferrari and Max Verstappen at Red Bull signed new, long-term contracts before the start of the Formula 1 winter tests in Barcelona (follow here in the live ticker!). Hamilton does not want to follow suit immediately.

First the start of the season, then …

“At the moment we are paying attention to the preparations for the season. It is starting again gradually and you want to get off the starting blocks well. [Die Vertragssituation] So I’m not really interested at the moment, “says the World Cup defender.

In any case, he does not expect any major surprises during the discussions, after all, the communication between him and Mercedes Sport Director Toto Wolff is always very intensive. “We very often inform each other about what moves us. That’s why we don’t even get to the point where we even think about other discussions.”

That means: Sooner or later Hamilton and Mercedes will end up at the negotiating table, staying with the silver arrows is quite likely for the six-time Formula 1 world champion, even if he has flirted with Ferrari in between. “[Mercedes und ich] share the same values ​​and have the same goals, “says Hamilton.

Hamilton enjoys freedom at Mercedes

So what will be left to talk about? “About the little details,” explains Hamilton. What he means by this: for example, his personal freedom beyond Formula 1, his jet set life, his various secondary construction sites such as the fashion industry or his passion for motorcycling. He is allowed to do all of this at Mercedes.

Hamilton himself says: “At Mercedes I can be who I want to be. I am not told what to say or how to dress, as is often the case with other teams.”

Hamilton speaks from experience: When he entered Formula 1 in 2007, it happened under the strict eye of Ron Dennis at McLaren. Dennis was known for a particularly strict leadership style, which sometimes also included the driver’s haircut. The move to Mercedes was therefore a kind of liberation for Hamilton.

A harmless conversation on the couch

Does he now feel too much in his free time? Hamilton himself addresses the “question marks” with which he is repeatedly confronted. “But everyone sees the results of the past few years, so I want to continue to prove that things like this help me get even better than I ever thought possible.”

This is exactly what it will be about when Hamilton enters into negotiations with Wolff about the next Mercedes contract. Hamilton also explained how something like this could look like: “Last time we were sitting on my couch, we were just messing around.”

At some point, however, the crucial topic came on the table. “Last time it went back and forth for a good eight or ten hours until we were through,” says Hamilton. “After that, it goes to the bad cops, the lawyers, so to speak. But we don’t seem to have any problems.”

What Mercedes appreciates about Hamilton

After all, both sides knew what they had on the other side, Hamilton continues. He should consider himself “happy” at Mercedes. And technical manager James Allison immediately returns the ball, praising Hamilton for its use and above all for its attitude, which is second to none.

“Lewis,” says Allison, “is just as passionate about winning championships as he was when he was an 18-year-old boy. It’s something drivers like him or Michael do [Schumacher] stands out from the others who are just very, very good racing drivers. The very big ones have this blazing fire that is stronger than everyone else. “

What makes Hamilton special? Allison doesn’t have to think long and names “two things” that are “outstanding” about Hamilton. “Clearly the pole record in statistics. It’s no coincidence that he holds so many records, and that’s a very meaningful one.”

Hamilton thinks long term

“And the way he’s managed the tires over the past couple of years. Not only can he drive fast, he can drive really fast for a long time. It puts everyone else in the shade,” says Allison.

The only question that remains to be clarified is how long Hamilton actually wants to drive fast. At 35, he is one of the oldest pilots in the field, only Kimi Raikkonen is even older. Nevertheless, Hamilton wants to make a far-sighted decision, as he says: “I will now consider what my next five to ten years will look like and what effects which decisions could have.”

“If I hang up the helmet once, then I want to be able to do other things. So the same will be found in the small print. And we will certainly talk about that the most.”

What role does money play?

Of course, it will also be about money. With all understanding for the effort of a racing team, Hamilton does not want to lose sight of his own interests: “A driver only has a certain amount of time.”

“Of course, in many ways you try to maximize everything, but at the same time continue to get your performance,” he explains. But Mercedes is one way or another a “good chapter” for him, “because I’m fast,” says Hamilton. The only question is whether this chapter will be completed at the end of the year or continued beyond.

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