He is yet to sign a new Mercedes deal, but Lewis Hamilton says he “wants to take this team the furthest it has ever been” and “really upset the red cars and the red team”.
Hamilton, who celebrated his 100th race with Merc at the Bahrain GP, is yet to commit his long-term future to the team with his current contract coming to an end at the end of this year.
The four-time World Champion has made it clear in the past that he hasn’t talked to any other teams and when asked by the Mercedes F1 website what the future holds, he replied: “My hope for the future is that we continue – continue to grow, excel and always move forwards. Obviously, to build our relationship. But I really want to take this team the furthest it has ever been.
“I want to be part of this journey where Mercedes are the most successful Formula One team in history.
“I want to push it as far as I can, with the lifespan as a driver that I have, that it would take a long, long time for anyone else to catch up. I think it would really upset the red cars and the red team, so that’s my goal…”
He was also asked to explain what convinced him to join Merc after starting his career with McLaren.
“I remember being in Monaco, down by the pool, during the summer of 2012, I guess. And Niki calling me and he’s like “We want you!” We had never really ever spoken, me and Niki. He didn’t have a good view of me. I don’t know why. He didn’t really know me. We hadn’t even met and had a conversation,” he revealed.
“So I’d hear these things that he would say about me in the media and I was like ‘Why is Niki hating on me?’ And then, when we started talking, particularly when we first met, we started to realise that we had a lot in common and we were very similar in our views of racing – like ‘Actually, he’s not a bad dude!’
“Then Ross [Brawn] came to my Mum’s house and sat my kitchen, which was pretty cool. Growing up watching Michael winning all those Championships, Seeing Ross on the pit wall for all those Grands Prix and I’ve got the guy in my Mum’s kitchen asking me to, basically, replace Michael.
“I love the idea that you watch Michael go to Ferrari and take them from not being successful. Being a part of that journey and winning – it looked amazing to watch and I wanted to do something like that.
“I’d already done everything I think I could have done at McLaren. I saw Mercedes as this baby about to start growing into something and I wanted to be a part of it. People saw it as a big risk but I’m a risk taker and that’s exciting. If you’re not taking risks, you’re not living.”
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