Hamilton: 'I don't know if I'll be in F1 next year'


Lewis Hamilton's contract expires at the end of this year and this year's F1 championship leader says there's no guarantee that he will be on the grid next year

Lewis Hamilton stands with the winning trophy from the 2020 emilia romagna grand prix

Hamilton was speaking after winning at Imola

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has cast doubt on his Formula 1 future, moments after securing a seventh Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes with a win at Imola.

The victory extends his lead in the drivers’ championship to a commanding 85 points with just four races remaining, but he has yet to sign an extension to his contract which ends this year.

Toto Wolff’s contract also expires this season and the Mercedes team principal said that he felt that he was at the end of his shelf life in his current role. Hamilton was asked how this would affect him.

“I don’t even know if I’m going to be here next year, so it’s not really a concern for me at the moment,” he said.

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Pressed on whether he may not race next year, he said: “Well we’re in November and it’s crazy — Christmas isn’t that far away,” Hamilton said.

“Naturally, I feel great, I feel still very strong, I feel I can keep going for plenty of months.

“But you mentioned about Toto and shelf life. There’s multiple things that stay on the top of my mind.

“I would like to be here next year but there’s no guarantee of that, for sure. There’s a lot that excites me of the after [F1] life.”

Wolff has said that he’s keen to spend more time with his family, rather than following the Formula 1 paddock around all of the rumoured 23 races scheduled for next year.

It is thought that he is negotiating a new role within Mercedes, which will see him continue to play a key role in the team, but with less time at races.

Hamilton said that he understood Wolff’s position and highlighted the partnership between the pair that has brought dominance in the hybrid era.

Lewis Hamilton sits on his Mercedes covered in ticker tape after clinching the 2020 F1 constructors championship at Imola

Hamilton amid the celebrations of Mercedes’ seventh F1 Constructors’ Championship


He has spoken at length about using his position to drive change outside F1, notably in equality and environmental issues, but his latest comments strike a different tone to an interview last weekend following the Portuguese Grand Prix.

After setting a new record for the total number of Formula 1 wins in Portimao, Hamilton told Sky that he and Mercedes were “still growing together”.

“I definitely don’t think it’s over. I really want to continue. I think once we get the job [championship] done and the stress of the bubble and everything passes us, we can get it to a comfortable position and get it done so I can continue.”

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Speaking separately at Imola, Wolff suggested that Hamilton’s comments were made in the heat of the moment.

“I hope it’s not going to happen. I think we’re going to have a pretty frantic driver market out there [if it did],” he said.

“I think nothing is ever secure. Like Niki Lauda in the ’70s, he could wake up one morning on a Friday or Saturday morning at the track and just say I’m not having fun any more.

“I think that can happen to anybody but we want to continue this journey. Lewis and I and all the team, we are not finished.”