Lewis Hamilton drops a subtle hint about Mercedes’ future plans

Lewis Hamilton has suggested he could stay at Mercedes “many more” years after his 2022 season ended on a whimper in Abu Dhabi. The seven-time world champion was forced to retire from the race due to a hydraulic problem, which saw him drop to sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.

Before the lights went out on Sunday, Hamilton may have been clinging to faint hopes that his streak of winning a Grand Prix in every year of his career could be salvaged at the last moment. But it was not to be, as Max Verstappen won at a canter to take his 15th victory of the season with Red Bull.

Things went from bad to worse for Hamilton, who was on the verge of holding onto fourth place under pressure from Carlos Sainz, as a hydraulic problem landed him in the pits with just three laps to go. The retirement saw him fall below Sainz in the Championship, and George Russell became the third driver to beat Hamilton over the course of a year while he was in the same team.

After the checkered flag, Hamilton gave insight into a first-lap collision with Sainz that slightly damaged his Mercedes, as well as a hint about his future plans by stating that he is aiming for “many more” championships with the Silver Arrows.

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“I think the floor took a big hit and you lose a bit of performance,” the Briton told Sky Sports. “The balance shifted forward, which is like you have a lot of front wing. In the end, we started with a car we didn’t want and ended up that way too. We got stuck.”

“We’re still working to improve it, but the fundamentals have been there all along. It’s been more of a team building exercise this year and I’m proud of everyone. We’ll be back at the factory in the next two years.” weeks. I hope this year’s fights really give us the strength to fight for many more championships in the future.”

“That’s the way it is,” Perez told Sky Sports after finishing the year in third place. “Sometimes it’s very close, but at the end of the day, I gave it my all. As a team, we gave it our all during the season and I’m sure we’ll come back stronger for next year.”

“We had great moments, great battles. I struggled a bit with tire handling, so hopefully that’s something we can improve for next year.” Meanwhile, an exhausted Leclerc pushed things forward to 2023 in the hope that Ferrari can close the gap on Red Bull.

Mercedes will focus on a similar task during the off-season, having narrowly missed out on second place in the Constructors’ Championship to Ferrari.

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