MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton on Thursday emphatically put to bed any concerns that he wanted to leave Mercedes, saying he planned to be the team “till my last days”.
The Briton’s disappointment after the season-opening grand prix in Bahrain, where he finished a distant fifth in his under-performing W14 car, led to claims that he was set to seek a move elsewhere.
He insisted that was not the case after a more competitive race in Saudi Arabia a fortnight ago.
And to make it crystal clear, the 38-year-old said ahead of the Australian Grand Prix that he wanted to finish his career with the once all-conquering Silver Arrows.
“I feel amazing about it (the future), I continue to feel very, very much at home, it’s a family,” he said in Melbourne of remaining with a team that has been his home for a decade.
“I see myself being with Mercedes till my last days.
“If you look at the legends, Sir Stirling Moss was with Mercedes till the end of his days, and that’s been the dream for me, to one day have that. I mean, I have that, so just continue on with that, continue to build with the brand.”
Hamilton’s first race for Mercedes was in Melbourne in 2013, and he has since delivered them an unprecedented 82 wins and 77 pole positions.
He said he had “amazing allies” within the team and “great relationships here”.
“I think for me personally, just so long as I continue to help the team, as long as I can continue to help drive the team forward, to contribute, then that’s why I want to stay.
“If there’s ever a point where I feel like I’m not able to do that then it’s time for a youngster to come in.
“But I’m still feeling pretty young and in decent shape.”
© Agence France-Presse