SIR LEWIS HAMILTON confirmed he is not leaving Mercedes but insists the team needs a “kick” after a poor start to the 2023 Formula 1 season.
The campaign started in nightmare fashion for Hamilton with another car that appears well below the standards set by Red Bull and Ferrari – and even Aston Martin.
The 38-year-old is desperate to be world champion for a record-breaking eighth time and reports suggested he could be tempted to switch to a rival team, like Ferrari, in order to reach his goal.
However, the star driver insists he is going nowhere as he still has “100 per cent belief” in his team.
Hamilton told Sky Sports: “In hindsight, I think looking back it wasn’t necessarily the best choice of words.
“Of course there are times where you’re not in agreement with certain team members, but what’s important is that we continue to communicate, continue to pull together.
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“I still have 100 per cent belief in this team, it is my family and I’ve been here a long time, so I don’t plan on going anywhere else.
“But we all need a kick, we all need to get on – the proof is in the pudding, we’ve seen where the performance is and how people are extracting the performance, and we’ve got to now start making some bold decisions, some big moves in order to close the gap to these guys.
“Hopefully at some point during the year, we’re hopeful we might be able to close the gap but at that point it will be probably too late in terms of fighting for a championship, but we can still turn some heads hopefully.”
Speculation over Hamilton’s future was fuelled by his current contract running out at the end of the season.
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There was also talk of a performance clause but the British legend dismissed the speculation.
Hamilton added: “There are no performance clauses. We are in talks, just in the process of going through the motions of what that looks like, what the future looks like, what we want to do.
“[We are] Always looking to continuously challenge ourselves rather than just doing a driver’s contract like everyone does.
“What can we do? We did the Ignite partnership last year on how we can promote diversity within the sport, just exploring different avenues and what else we can do. I’m fully integrated within Mercedes-Benz.
“I’ve been with them for such a long time, since I was 13, so I’m very proud of the brand and the business, what they do, what they stand for and the impact they have throughout the world, but you can always do more, so discussions are around what else we can do together to lift people up.”
Source: Motorsport - thesun.co.uk