Hamilton is in the last year of his current deal and is so far yet to announce an extension with the German manufacturer, despite repeated indications in recent months that such an outcome would be a formality.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted Hamilton would have to consider leaving the team if they cannot deliver a competitive car in the coming years but stressed he is “absolutely confident” a new deal would be agreed.
The 38-year-old, meanwhile, moved to shut down suggestions he could leave, insisting a decision over his future would not hinge on Mercedes’ level of performance after the eight-time constructors’ champions followed up their miserable 2022 campaign with another poor start to the 2023 season.
When did Hamilton renew his previous contracts?
Intriguingly, out of the five F1 contracts he has signed with Mercedes, negotiations over three dragged on until the summer months.
Following months of speculation and wrangling, Hamilton signed his first contract extension with Mercedes – a three-year deal – days before the Monaco Grand Prix in May 2015.
The Briton’s future was once again a major talking point for months on end until he committed to Mercedes with a new two-year contract that was announced ahead of the 2018 German Grand Prix.
Hamilton was technically a free agent for a brief spell before his next deal was signed in early February 2021.
Having opted to postpone talks over a new contract to focus on his successful bid to win a record-equalling seven world title in 2020, Hamilton signed a one-year deal to keep him on the grid for 2021.
Five months later in July, Hamilton was again putting pen to paper on his current deal that was announced at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Only one of Hamilton’s last four contracts was signed during the off-season, with the rest all being confirmed either in the build-up to, or during, a mid-season race weekend.
Previous years would possibly suggest that the continued wait for firm news about Hamilton’s future isn’t necessarily abnormal.
Hamilton looks to emulate Moss
At the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hamilton said he plans to emulate the late Stirling Moss by remaining linked with Mercedes for the rest of his life.
“I continue to feel very much at home. It’s family. I see myself being with Mercedes till my last days, to be honest,” he said.
“If you look at the legends, Sir Stirling Moss was with Mercedes till the end of days.
“So, that’s been the dream for me to one day have that… well I have that, so I mean just continue on with that and continue to build with the brand.”
Hamilton continued: “I’ve got some amazing allies. I’ve got great relationships here.
“I think, for me personally, just as long as I can continue to help the team, as long as I can continue to help drive the team forwards and really contribute, then that’s why I want to stay.
“If there’s ever going to be a point where I feel like I’m not able to do that, then it’s time for a youngster to come in to take my seat. But I’m still pretty young, in pretty decent shape.”