Mercedes had a rough start to the French GP weekend as their experiments with the upgrades did not seem to enhance their performance. In fact, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell really struggled to keep up with Ferrari and Red Bull’s superior pace. The Silver Arrows were almost a second behind the frontrunners, and it seemed to be a hard qualifying for the German team. Before the start of the French weekend, the media reports claimed that Mercedes might have a chance to get their first win of 2022 at Paul Ricard. However, the reality turned out to be much more difficult for Mercedes on a smooth surface which is believed to suit their W13.
The troubled W13 seems to still have problems halfway into the season. Hence, the chances of winning the ninth constructors championship seem highly unlikely. Mercedes might also miss out on the championship next year as they would be forced to work on their 2023 car from scratch while the paddock develops their cars through the current season. Thus, with no championship wins next year, Lewis Hamilton was lately rumored to be considering retirement from Formula 1.
However, the Mercedes boss Toto Wolff joked on Saturday that Hamilton could keep racing with the Silver Arrows for another five or ten years and reach up to 400 races. The French GP marked the 300th race start in F1 for Lewis Hamilton. Wolff shared that he discussed how long the Mercedes-Hamilton partnership could go on. He revealed that the figure that came up was five to ten years. Toto added, “So I think we can go to 400 races. Someone said you have to win the eighth world title, so why not 10?”
Lewis Hamilton Committed To His Future In Formula 1
The Briton also reciprocated his team principal’s trust with an amazing performance during Sunday’s main race. Starting P4, Lewis Hamilton made an early overtake to get to P3 in the opening lap. Lewis fought hard to keep Perez behind while Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen were almost six seconds ahead of him. The Mercedes driver continued to put on some competitive laps and managed to finish P2 after Charles Leclerc’s crash during lap 18.
After securing his highest season performance, Hamilton shared that he still felt fresh and had plenty of fuel left in the tank to keep going. The Briton revealed that he was enjoying the process, arriving every day, working with his team, and being a part of the sport. Lewis added, “There are some great people in this sport. And I am enjoying my time more than ever.”
The Mercedes driver also talked about his future with Mercedes and Formula 1. Lewis aimed to get back to winning ways and was sure he would discuss his future with his team soon. The seven-time world champ also expressed his gratitude to all the people who had been with him on his journey to secure 200 GP starts.
Lewis Hamilton reckoned that Mercedes needed to keep pushing to get a little closer. He pointed out that he was just ten seconds behind Verstappen on Sunday. Moreover, the seven-time world champion shared that he and George did not expect a double podium. He concluded, “This was a huge day for me. And I am taking that positivity on to Budapest.”