Hamilton keen to remain at Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton is enjoying a good season with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton is enjoying a good season with Mercedes

First published in National Sport News © by

Lewis Hamilton looks set to sign a new deal with Mercedes before the end of the year.

Motorsport boss Toto Wolff confirmed earlier this week his team have commenced talks with Hamilton about an extension to his contract that runs through to the end of 2015.

Just over a week ago, Nico Rosberg announced he had put pen to paper on a new contract that is understood to expire at the end of 2016.

Now the team are eager to tie up Hamilton long term, despite the fact Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso's current agreements with Red Bull and Ferrari respectively both expire after next season.

On Thursday at the Hungaroring, Vettel, in particular, made reference to the possibility of joining Mercedes in the future, unsurprising as they have usurped Red Bull as the dominant force in Formula One.

Despite Vettel's remarks, and Alonso's own situation, Hamilton is relaxed about matters.

With the 29-year-old firmly in the title hunt, heading into this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix with a 14-point deficit to Rosberg, he knows he is on to a good thing and has no intention of ending it.

"I'm very relaxed to be honest. I still have a contract to the end of next year, a year and a half to put pen to paper, so I'm not concerned, " said Hamilton.

"Ultimately if the team wanted someone else in the car, that's their decision. I'm not going to whinge about it. I don't have any feelings about it.

"There will always be a place for every driver and what will be will be, but I feel like I'm very much part of the family here.

"I'm not nagging Toto or Paddy (Lowe, executive technical director) into getting something done because I have faith in them and hopefully they have faith in me.

"I think I would wish to continue with them and hopefully they want to do the same with me.

"We have a very good open relationship and I've said to them they would be the first to know if I was looking to speak to anyone else.

"But then I've said there wouldn't be because I want to speak to them.

"We've talked about having a chat at some stage, but I think they're quite relaxed as well, as far as I'm aware."

Asked of Hamilton whether he felt something could happen this year, he replied: "I imagine something will happen this year, but now's not the time to really focus on that.

"I've made it clear to them I'm not out to see what else there is for me.

"Mercedes has been my family since I started F1 and I don't see that changing any time soon."

Hamilton's immediate concern is ensuring the gap to Rosberg does not widen further this weekend, and that he heads into F1's summer break on a high.

Rosberg's win in Germany on Sunday, with Hamilton third from 20th on the grid following a crash in qualifying, has again provided him with an edge.

But Hamilton has made the Hungaroring his own since entering F1 in 2007, claiming four pole positions and four wins in seven attempts.

"I should have won six times!" added Hamilton.

"The year Jenson won (in 2011 for McLaren) I didn't win through my own mistake, and the year before the suspension broke, but it's been a good track for me.

"I just generally love it, it's an old classic circuit and they don't make them like this any more.

"There's a lot of braking and that's where I gain my time generally. You do have to throw the car around more."

That may not help Hamilton too much given he is still suffering with back pain following the 30g impact sustained following his sideways shunt into a tyre barrier at the Hockenheimring.

Hamilton has since had acupuncture and physiotherapy, but is happy he will be able to get through the weekend that follows hot on the heels of what unfolded in Germany.

"I'm on the mend, I'll be okay," said Hamilton.

"My fitness level is as high as it really can be and the car is easy enough. I managed in the last race and I'm better now.

"I'm looking forward to the race and then the break. If I can close up the gap at all this weekend then that would be a huge positive going into it, and also the second half of the season when it's time to attack."

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