07/24 12:26 CDT Hamilton hoping to extend Mercedes contract
Hamilton hoping to extend Mercedes contract
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) --- Lewis Hamilton says he and Mercedes want to extend
his contract beyond next year, although they have yet to hold formal talks
about a new deal.
"We haven't sat down yet but the team knows that I would like to push to
continue and they've made it clear they'd like to do the same," Hamilton said
on Thursday at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
A win on Sunday would give Hamilton three straight victories and five overall
on the Hungaroring circuit, exceeding Michael Schumacher's four wins.
Hamilton said he felt "not 100 percent but close" after crashing in qualifying
due to a brake failure at last week's German GP, a race in which he surged to
third place after starting 20th.
"I've recovered quite a lot from the last race, and this weekend is going to be
no problem," Hamilton said.
He has five wins this season, and lies 14 points behind championship leader and
teammate Nico Rosberg.
He said he would not let the mechanical failure in Hockenheim haunt him in
"As a racing driver you have to have 100 percent confidence in your car and
your team," he said. "Even though I had that issue ... you can never have doubt
in the car, safety-wise particularly, or that will hold you back massively."
Rosberg recently signed his own contract extension with the German outfit. He
said he enjoys racing on the slow and winding Hungarian track despite his poor
recent results here.
"It's like Monaco, a street circuit, but in a permanent track," Rosberg said.
"It's really challenging to get that perfect lap because of all the turns and
bumps. It's an awesome track."
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said that though the slower circuit
could help his Red Bull team, Mercedes seemed unbeatable this season.
"If everything goes normal and being realistic, it's difficult to beat Mercedes
because they are so much quicker than everyone else," Vettel said.
The German driver said he was impressed by the recent results obtained by
Valtteri Bottas of Williams, who has made the podium in the last three races
with one third and two second-place finishes.
"Williams has definitely made a step" since the Austrian GP in June, Vettel
said: "They're very competitive down the straights the whole season, but they
got a lot more competitive on the corners."
Mercedes has won nine of the 10 races so far.
"They could have a nice Saturday afternoon" at the nearby waterpark "and still
win the race on Sunday," said Vettel, sixth in the championship.
Two practice sessions will be held on Friday and one on Saturday morning before
the afternoon qualifying.