Lewis Hamilton says the only reason why he is yet to sign a new contract with Mercedes is that he feels “a little bit awkward” due to the economic uncertainty caused by the global health pandemic.
The World Champion’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was confirmed for a fifth year with F1’s dominant team on the eve of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone.
As things stand, Hamilton does not have a contract in place for next year, albeit the overwhelming likelihood is that he will stay with Mercedes whom he joined in 2013.
During an interview with Karun Chandhok on Sky Sports, Hamilton was asked when he would join Bottas in pledging his future to Mercedes.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) August 6, 2020
“I really want to,” he said. “I’m sure Toto (Wolff) is probably getting a little bit anxious because I haven’t been too forward with it – like ‘let’s get it done, now!’
“I don’t know, I’m just a very chilled individual. I think particularly in a time when people are losing their jobs, I generally honestly feel a little bit awkward with sitting down and talking about numbers and talking about a new contract when there are people out there who are not eating, people out there who are starving, people out there who have lost their jobs during this pandemic.
“So, I don’t know, I feel a little bit awkward with it, that’s why I’ve kind of stepped back a little bit. But of course, I will do at some stage. But it’s awkward – I’m like ‘how long can I leave it until it’s maybe a little bit more normal, things maybe get a little bit better?’
“But I am absolutely 100% committed to my team. I’m as loyal as ever and I don’t lie, so it’s not like I’m communicating with someone else – I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Hamilton also spoke about closing in on Michael Schumacher’s record of seven World Championship titles, which he is on course to equal this year being 30 points ahead of Bottas at the top of the standings having won the last three races.
The 35-year-old said: “I think we [he and his family] truly believed we could get to Formula 1 – of course we didn’t know whether it was going to happen – but I could never have said to you I was going to have six world titles and be fighting against someone I watched win all those titles record-wise.
“It’s above and beyond that [what he could have expected].”