Lewis Hamilton remains in love with Formula 1, the 37-year-old insisting he has no plans to retire after this disappointing season and added he wants to stay at Mercedes “until the day I die.”
The seven-time F1 world champion is winless through 15 races this season and sixth in the standings. He trails reigning world champion Max Verstappen, by 152 points heading into the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The poor rollout of Mercedes’ troublesome W13 has Hamilton in danger of the first winless season of his 16-year career.
Meanwhile, in an explosive F1 Silly Season, there’s been speculation Daniel Ricciardo could move to Mercedes as a reserve driver next season, and then take over for Hamilton when his contract expires at the end of 2023.
But Hamilton poured cold water on that notion, “For years we’ve be going around, up and down with stories of retirement and stopping and for me, I feel healthier than I’ve ever felt.
Hamilton, who was sitting next to Ricciardo, during the drivers’ press conference at Monza yesterday, added: “As I focus a lot on that, I’m feeling fit, I love what I’m doing and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”
Lewis: I think I’ll always be with Mercedes, until the day I die
He then turned to Ricciardo, who had been whispering to Hamilton through the 30-minute news conference: “Sorry, buddy.”
Hamilton is in his 10th season with Mercedes. He moved there after six seasons with McLaren.
“I love that we have the long partnership we have. I feel like we are embarking on a lot of really positive things, not only in the sport but outside,” Hamilton explained.
“And I think there’s a lot of work to accomplish together. So I want to be a part of that, I think I’ll always be with Mercedes, until the day I die. And I feel like I can race for quite a bit longer so I’ll be potentially steering towards that.”
Hamilton is set to take a grid penalty for using a fourth power unit — one over the limit — as a result of his crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Since his move from McLaren in 2013, Hamilton collected six F1 world titles, won 82 of his 103 wins in Silver, 77 poles is a Merc – all his 303 F1 starts were powered by Mercedes. (Report by Daniella Matar)