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Formula One boss Stefano Domenicali insists he wants Lewis Hamilton to fight for a record eighth World Championship. Speculation has continued to mount over the Briton’s future amid Mercedes’ struggles over the last two years.
Hamilton’s contract with the Silver Arrows expires at the end of the year. There is a general belief that he will sign a deal for at least another year, but the longer those talks continue the more uncertain his future grows.
The 38-year-old secured a joint-record seventh World Championship in 2020. However, he was narrowly and controversially beaten to the 2021 title by Max Verstappen, who has dominated the sport since.
Hamilton has not won a race since 2021, but Domenicali has urged the F1 icon to stick with the sport and challenge for a record eighth championship. “I’d like him to stay in the sport 100 per-cent, 1,000 per-cent,” Domenicali told the Daily Mail.
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“I don’t want to give Lewis any advice because that would be disrespectful to Toto [Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal]. And Lewis has such deep experience that I’m sure he doesn’t need my input because he knows what he wants.
“He loves our sport. He has been in it since he was a child. Now his role in F1 is getting bigger than an F1 world champion, given the way he gets involved in a lot of things outside the sport and takes an active role in society. He takes us towards new dimensions.
“But his love is Formula One, and, of course, he wants to achieve his dream of being the only driver to have won an eighth title.
“Toto is totally focused on making Mercedes improve. He told me he made adjustments within the team to be sure that there is the right intensity to gain performance as soon as possible. I am sure this will happen very, very soon.”
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Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has conceded that contract talks with Hamilton are ‘uncomfortable’ due to their strong friendship.
“I said that too. It’s just uncomfortable that two friends, two blood brothers who have been through thick and thin for ten years, suddenly have to discuss money.
“I’m firmly convinced that we’ll find each other, there’s not a millimetre of doubt for me. I can’t imagine anything else. If we give Lewis a competitive car, he will win for a long time. Look at Tom Brady and what he was still capable of in his 40s.”
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