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"I just wanted one year," says Hamilton

NEWS STORY
02/03/2021

Lewis Hamilton gives insight as to why he only agreed a one-year deal with Mercedes, the seven-time world champion insisting that he can "keep adding to it".

Fans and no doubt F1 bosses breathed a huge sigh of relief early last month when Mercedes made the 'announce' that it had agreed terms with Lewis Hamilton to keep the seven-time world champion on board.

The long delay in agreeing a new deal was put down to various factors, including money and an elephant called George, but in the end both sides agreed to continue, albeit only committing to one year.

Speaking at today's launch of the car with which he hopes to secure a record eighth title, Hamilton shed light on the fact that it was his decision to make it a one-year deal.

"Firstly, I'm kind of in a fortunate position where I've achieved most of the stuff that I've wanted to achieve up to this point," he said. "So there's no real need necessarily to plan too far ahead in the future.

"I think we live in quite an unusual period of time in life, and I just wanted one year," he added. "Then we can talk about if we do more, and keep adding it if we have to."

According to Mercedes, a significant part of the new agreement built upon the "joint commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in motorsport that was made last year by Lewis and Mercedes".

This, we were told, would take the form of a joint charitable foundation, which will have the mission of "supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport".

"The main priority for 2021, in the past it was just about winning championships," said Hamilton. "Last year there was a lot of discussion about equality and inclusion, and I think there was a lot of talk. This year is all about pushing for diversity, and really making sure that action is taken.

"That is at the core of the drive for me, but of course we exist to win, and that is what all these guys and girls here and working towards, so that is my goal, to deliver that for them."

Check out our Mercedes W12 reveal gallery, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 04/03/2021 0:09

"@ Spindoctor..regarding this initiative to nurture talent from areas not normally associated with careers in motorsport it would help if you could post what the parameters are for 'inclusion'. What exactly is it that qualifies someone to participate? It would be interesting to see how this is constructed. Is it open to all comers or is it tailored to specific groups. Meritocracy should always be the governing factor if you want to succeed. Look forward to your response."

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2. Posted by kenji, 03/03/2021 23:59

"@ SRL...I was hoping that you'd post me some links but apparently nothing there? I would also like to take you up on your rather pointed descriptors. What you perceive to be 'negative' views is really not the case. In so many circumstances they are nothing more that 'alternative viewpoints' and the current craze to shut down any discussion of alternate comments shows a paucity of logical analysis based on observations and other contributing factors. I recall Wolff discussing the possibility that had been floated at the time re Ricciardo replacing Rosberg. he was asked about the possibility and he replied, ' i wouldn't want to upset the teams equilibrium'!! Ricciardo is known as a very easy to get on with driver and even Hamilton said' it would be a privilege to drive with Ricciardo in the team'. Now what conclusion would you draw from those comments?. Was Hamilton lying as he knew that Wolff would not contract Ricciardo or was he genuine and it was just Wolff protecting him from any serious competition?"

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3. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 03/03/2021 15:10

"@Spindoctor, I totally agree!

The Mercedes philosophy doesn't only apply to their F1 team either, but also throughout their luxury car design, development and production too!
Not to mention that Mercedes will inevitably also benefit from the ever more increasingly diversed community in buying their luxury cars as their incomes grow!
And who says that they will hire under qualified and substandard people to fill quotas? I think that's just rubbish!

Unfortunately, whenever there's something to do with Lewis Hamilton, the negative people just have to come out and put their negative views across again and again and again! I have to say it's very obvious, completely old, and extremely boring!

People believe what they want to believe, and they will go to media sources which put out a lot of false and negative 'news' about Lewis Hamilton and happily believe it!
My analogy is: who watches Fox news, and on the other side, who watches CNN for the real news? That's just my opinion though! "

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 03/03/2021 14:04

"Mercedes' commitment to diversity has several facets, and isn't limited to their hiring policy. Their main commitment is to initiatives designed to encourage & nurture talent in areas not normally considered breeding grounds for the skills F1 needs. This should, over time, significantly increase the number of skilled & talented people available

Their move doesn't imply, as is suggested below, that they will hire less competent people. It simply means they'll cast their net a bit wider into the talent pool than they might otherwise have done. "

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5. Posted by kenji, 03/03/2021 13:10

"@ Sexy Lady Racer....How true that it doesn't matter what people 'believe'. All the comments that I read indicated that the delay was because Hamilton wanted three years and many other add ons like a lifetime ambassadorship and a large cut of advertising revenues that Mercedes weren't happy with. So they must have been outright lies. Out of interest could you head me to those articles you refer to that would indicate the opposite?"

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6. Posted by Editor, 03/03/2021 8:00

"What we hear... from someone very, very close to Lewis is that HE is the one who wanted a one-year deal."

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7. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 03/03/2021 6:20

"It really doesn't matter what people 'believe' and it is amazing that they just keep on pushing their negative views about Lewis Hamilton for obvious reasons!

They also ignore media reports that part of the delay in agreeing the new contract was that Lewis Hamilton only wanted to sign for one year but Mercedes wanted three years!
It should be obvious to everyone that Mercedes knows that in signing Lewis Hamilton they will be getting the best all round driver on the grid and also that he is worth more than just his driving alone. It's the full package!

To win races and championship is much more than just having a good car, being fast and even getting pole positions on the Saturdays! It's also about being more experienced, being consistent and not making mistakes!

George Russell is talented but he is still making mistakes on a regular basis, and so does Valtteri Bottas!
Toto knows that very well and if the driver line up at Mercedes were to change next season, then it is not a given that Mercedes would win the Constructor's Championship, with Red Bull and McLaren expected to be even closer this season!
But of course, some people just do care about that as long as they get rid of Hamilton!

I would trust the words of sincere and honest people like Lewis Hamilton and Toto when they said that they simply agreed one year because it was more expedient as time was pushing on, and they will discuss next year's contract during this year!

So I wouldn't be too surprised if Lewis Hamilton and Toto were to announce an extension to their contract quite early in this season so that there's no more ridiculous speculation again! And I would imagine that Lewis Hamilton is more likely to add another one or two years if he is pushed harder by other drivers and teams because that is what he enjoys in F1, and of course winning his record breaking 8th F1 World Title!

I believe Lewis Hamilton will win the Championship this year but it will be tougher than ever, but whatever happens, this year will be very exciting! "

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8. Posted by kenji, 03/03/2021 0:54

"My immediate reaction was simply that this statement was very closely crafted by the various 'spin' teams employed by both Mercedes and Hamilton. Every indication, released publically, was that Hamilton was seeking a three year contract and that, amongst other issues, was the sticking point as Mercedes wanted only a one year contract. IMO this latest admission has been made as a face saving exercise by giving Hamilton a way out by making it look as though it was his decision. I really don't buy it. It's totally understandable that Mercedes would want to give themselves every opportunity to craft a new team if they feel that it's in their best interests for the future. TBH Hamilton is boring and new blood in that car will give added spice to the races...time for a clean out and a fresh start. We all know that the car is the super dominant feature and in the hands of new drivers it could be exciting once more.... Without Hamilton maybe all this social/political nonsense would also be finally done away with and moved to a more appropriate arena."

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9. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 02/03/2021 17:48

"This push for diversity could cost Mercedes.
I mean, if they are going to go hiring talent based on certain identities, and have quotas to fill, they will have to put competence down the list of qualities they are looking for.
The cream rises to the top as the saying goes, and that is independent of the identity of the personal in the team.
I wonder if Sir Lewis would jump ship to a more diverse team even if that team wasn't performing as high as Mercedes (noone currently is)?
Regardless, I'm looking forward to seeing Hamilton try for his eight title as well as the rest of the drivers trying to beat him to it.
"

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10. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 02/03/2021 14:53

"One year seems like a smart move on his part. He has made good choices so far, so why wouldn't this be just as wise? "

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11. Posted by TSGoodchild, 02/03/2021 14:04

"I think its a sensible approach. Worth noting that the new regs were due to come in in 2021, and he could have seen the development of those news regs through 2020 to gauge whether Mercedes were to be a force or not in the new era. With everything shifted a year, it makes sense to keep options open until that insight is available. I reckon he will still sign a new deal for a few more years yet. We just need a fellow brit with the initials GR sitting in the other car. "

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