With driver silly season in full swing, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team driver Lewis Hamilton expects to sign another deal with the team past 2018.
The news broke last week that both Scuderia Ferrari drivers will be retained by the Maranello team. Kimi Raikkonen has been signed for 2018 and Sebastian Vettel formalised a three year deal to take him to 2020 with the team. Hamilton is adamant that this has not affected his thoughts about staying with the team.
Speaking to the BBC, Hamilton said that he didn’t know if “everyone expected Vettel to sign a three-year deal but it doesn’t change much for me.
“I planned to extend with the team in the second half of the season or towards the end of the year.”
Team boss of Mercedes Toto Wolff previously commented that any talks with Hamilton would be postponed until the end of the year, but the Brit has since mentioned that this is when he prefers to have contract talks.
“Toto has said we will wait until the end of the season; that’s because that’s generally what I like to do,” said Hamilton. “There is no rush. I still have another year so we have a lot of time. The last contract went all the way into the mid-part of the season.”
Hamilton has assured fans that he has always been resolute in staying with Mercedes.
“I know the team are committed to me and I have never picked up the phone and spoken to any other teams,” he said. “I made it very clear to the guys I am not trying to weigh up my options and if I was I would just call Toto and say: ‘Look, I am doing my due diligence and seeing what’s out there for me’.
“But currently I have no plans to do that and it is good for Sebastian that he has signed.”