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
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021