Lewis Hamilton gives fans major update on F1 future after retirement rumours | The Sun

LEWIS HAMILTON says he's "a fighter" and will not walk away from F1 – even if he's not winning races.

Hamilton will kick off his 17th year in the sport on Friday at the season-opening Bahrain GP.

Last year he went winless for the first time in his career.

And former world champions Jenson Button and Damon Hill have questioned whether he will lose the desire if that poor run goes on.

But Hamilton, 38, who has made no secret of the fact he wants to extend his Mercedes deal beyond this season, is confident he will agree new terms with boss Toto Wolff.

He said: "Ultimately people are creating rumours without facts. It's never helpful. And you would have thought they would have both known by now.

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"I've been with Mercedes since I was 13. Having a difficult year; whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I'll still be here. I'm a fighter, and we fight as a team.

"I love the challenge of finding solutions. I still believe I'm able to put the car in places that others are perhaps not able to, and I love that challenge.

"Of course I wish that we start the season with a great car. But it's the journey that really counts.

"So there is no hold up with our contract. I've always been very, very relaxed. I don't feel like I've got to get it done right this second. I'm in a very fortunate position.

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"It'll get done when we're ready. I have a great relationship with Toto and Mercedes, and we fully support each other.

"I'm really excited about the future together. I'm really proud of the work that we're doing on and off the track, and the potential things we can do going forward. We'll get there."

There were mixed messages from Mercedes after last week's three days of testing but Hamilton says that from the very first lap at a shakedown at Silverstone that he knew of the challenges he would be facing this season.

While the bouncing has been cured, there is still some way to go before he feels he can catch up to Red Bull and Ferrari.

He added: "We arrive here with a much better understanding of the challenges that are ahead.


"We've had a few really good days of digesting the data and I've been on calls every day with the team.

"Everyone's been working so hard to make sure we arrive here as best prepared we can with the information we have.

"I knew from the moment I first drove the car where we were and the challenges that we would be facing.

"On a positive note, not having the bouncing this year is a huge plus and now we can focus on just pure performance.

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"I'm encouraged to see the focus and courage of everyone with the team on getting us back to the top.

"We're not where we wanted to start a season but this still is a multi-world championship-winning team and group of people I believe in."

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