Hamilton: Fight against Verstappen ‘reinvigorating’ love for F1

Lewis Hamilton says the fight against Max Verstappen and Red Bull this year has been “reinvigorating the love” he has for Formula 1, bringing him closer to his Mercedes team.

Mercedes announced last Saturday that Hamilton had signed a new two-year contract, ensuring he will remain with the team until at least the end of the 2023 season.

Hamilton’s long-term F1 future had been subject to speculation after he only signed a one-year extension with Mercedes back in February to cover the 2021 season. But the British driver always made clear that his future beyond this year would not depend on any on-track success as he went in search of a record-breaking eighth world title.

Hamilton has faced his sternest challenge for an F1 title in over five seasons so far this year against Verstappen, who leads the drivers’ standings by 32 points after winning the last three races.

Speaking after his new contract was announced, Hamilton explained how much he was enjoying the fight against Red Bull and Verstappen, and how his passion to continue racing had not wavered at all.

“At the start of this season, when the cars were so close in performance, pretty much equal, then it was really one of the most exciting times that I’ve had for some time, to be able to have this battle for Red Bull,” Hamilton said. “Honestly I was really hoping that it would continue on like that through the rest of the year, but as you’ve seen, they’ve taken a huge leap forwards.

“We’re always in different places in our lives, and it’s important that we take time to evaluate. It’s important that we do what’s right for us in terms of health and mental wellbeing. It’s always a good time to try and reflect and see what’s next. I found myself just waking up, thinking about racing. So I wanted to continue to race.

“And now we’re having this tight battle, yeah, it’s brought me closer to the team, it’s brought me closer to the engineers. It’s making me dig deeper, and I love that.

“I guess it has been reinvigorating the love that I have for this sport and love for what I do.”

Read Also:

Hamilton has been F1’s leading voice in the series’ recent push to improve diversity and inclusion, and remains heavily engaged with its leaders over plans for the future to help more people from underrepresented backgrounds get into the industry.

Hamilton said that he remained eager to “be a part of helping the sport evolve and be as great as it can be”, and also paid tribute to Mercedes for the support it was giving him to enact long-lasting change.

“It’s amazing to see what Mercedes are doing, the support that they’ve given me through this period with BLM, with turning the whole car black for the second year in a row, for really pushing for a more diverse and inclusive environment,” Hamilton said. “It’s amazing, the conversations we’ve had. It’s an amazing, new part of the journey that we’ve started.

“For sure, several years ago, I could only have dreamed of being in this position. I’m excited for what that can be.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: Red Bull must ensure F1 car is not only dominant in Austria

Previous article

Verstappen: Red Bull must ensure F1 car is not only dominant in Austria

Next article

Why the F1 title-winning Alonso is back, both on and off-track

Why the F1 title-winning Alonso is back, both on and off-track
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021