Hamilton admits 2024 contract talks ’emotional’

Lewis Hamilton remains firm in his desire to continue as a Mercedes driver in 2023.

Toto Wolff, the team boss, acknowledges that they have emotionally agreed to a new deal, but the contract has not been signed yet.

“I think it’s definitely an emotional rollercoaster on both sides,” revealed the seven-time world champion, 38, during an interview with the Belgian broadcaster RTBF at Spa Francorchamps.

Hamilton characterizes the negotiations as intense, stating, “He has his personal side but he’s also a businessman.”

“It’s an ongoing process, and no one can understand the full complexity of the situation. I’m going in-depth with my contracts now. But I plan to be here. I have a lot of work to do with this team.”

Despite Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s dominant performances, there have been glimpses of hope that Mercedes is gaining a better grasp of the new ‘ground effect’ era.

However, a new upgrade package at Spa caused Hamilton and George Russell to encounter the dreaded ‘porpoising’ phenomenon.

“No, they don’t know why,” Hamilton responded when asked if Mercedes understands the sudden resurgence of the phenomenon. “It’s obviously a concern.”

From a personal perspective, Hamilton maintains that he possesses the motivation to continue competing in Formula 1.

“I’m still very hungry,” he affirmed.

He discussed with his father the interesting phenomenon that the feeling of losing remains as strong as ever despite his competitive nature.

“After all these years – sixteen years in this sport – I’m so grateful that I still have that passion and love for what I do. That’s why I’m still here.”

Verstappen acknowledged over the weekend that while his dominance might seem dull to outsiders, he relishes winning races with a substantial margin.

Hamilton experienced a prolonged period of similar dominance but contends that it is “not necessarily easier” when competitors are far behind.

“It’s a place where you feel alone,” he commented. “In our sport, there is usually a gap, but it’s not often a gap like Max’s.”

He reminisced about that position, admitting that while winning races is exciting, the ultimate desire is to have more competition to avoid the feeling of emptiness when far ahead.

“So I would say that I enjoy racing a lot more than I did then, because I’m racing in the pack. Obviously, the goal is to get where he is, but for the sport, the goal should be to have closer racing.”