F1 ponders next moves after Hamilton deal

Ross Houston
July 20, 2018

Mercedes announced on Thursday that Hamilton had agreed a contract extension, committing him to the Formula 1 team until 2020.

"My mental focus of what I want to do and achieve in this team with them, which I'm not going to elaborate on, but I'm excited about this journey over the next couple of years".

Although he now trails rival Sebastian Vettel by 15 points in the Drivers World Championship, Hamilton insists the his team are "more hungry than ever" and "eager to win", adding that his "competitive passion is shared by each member of the group".

Hamilton insisted he had always been on course to remain with Mercedes, telling the team's website after the announcement: "This contract extension has basically been a formality since Toto and I sat down during the winter, so it's good to put pen to paper, announce it and then get on with business as usual".

"Mercedes has become Lewis' home in Formula 1 and his story is linked forever with the silver and green of Mercedes-AMG", he added.

However, clearly still unhappy at missing out on a record sixth home win, the Briton has cast doubt on Ferrari's post-race celebrations at Silverstone suggesting they signify an inherent weakness within the team.

"Toto is a great human being and a great manager", said Hamilton.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, told reporters: "For me, it doesn't change anything at all".

"It's been great, I've been really happy with the process, I really enjoy that negotiation phase". Other countries are prepared to fund the grand prix and I think that's where the main problem is. I am not investigating to see what other options there are. We've stumbled at times and a small stumble is magnified because it's so close.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton has signed on for another two years with the Formula One team.

But Ferrari's pace might be worrying for Mercedes, as Vettel was only 0.271secs slower despite using the soft tyre, while Red Bull and Mercedes both used the ultra-soft, which is considered to be around 0.5secs quicker. I really truly believe we are strong enough to come back whatever we are faced with.

But amid speculation that Raikkonen is being considered for a move to the team where he began his F1 career, Vasseur is clear that its 2019 line-up decision will have to be based on "performance" and not sentimental grounds.

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