Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he had no doubts or reservations about signing a new contract with Mercedes after his new three-year deal was announced on Wednesday.
The defending Formula 1 world champion had been negotiating a new deal with Mercedes for almost a year, but finally confirmed that he would be remaining with the German team until the end of the 2018 season ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The biggest hold-up in negotiations was Hamilton’s decision to split with management company XIX Entertainment and sort the contract by himself, but he said that he never considered leaving Mercedes for rivals Ferrari.
“There was never any doubt, honestly,” Hamilton said. “I was led to believe that the team wanted to continue with me and naturally with the success we’ve had and the relationship we have, it felt certain.
“That’s why I never, ever felt like I’ve got to sign on the dotted line now – kind of took my time. I wasn’t being challenged elsewhere by another driver, which was a good thing.
“I said to Mercedes from the get-go that I wasn’t planning to speak to anyone and I believe that they did the same.”
Upon the expiration of his new contract, Hamilton will be 33 and one of the oldest drivers in the sport, but the Briton is confident that he will continue beyond 2018.
“That’s pretty young still, hopefully, which I’m grateful for,” Hamilton said. “So yes, definitely. I definitely see me continuing past that.”