Everyone's after a Mercedes F1 seat, says Hamilton

Tanya Simon
December 8, 2019

Louis Hamilton described 2019 as "the best time of my life" after formally assembling the Formula One World Championship trophy at the FIA awards gala in Paris.

Asked whether he was considering all options for the future, he said: "To be honest, I don't really think about it too much".

Much of that, the former Red Bull driver admits, is conditional on how Vettel responds to a hard year that has seen his lead driver status at Ferrari go and even led to questions over whether he can still compete at the very front in F1.

Verstappen, linked with a Mercedes 2021 move earlier this year, was on stage shortly before Hamilton was speaking.

Both Ferrari and Red Bull tried to step up to the dominant Mercedes outfit, but were unsuccessful - Ferrari arguably though could have pushed Hamilton and Mercedes a lot further on both fronts if strategy and on-track errors courtesy of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc hadn't had let them down.

"I've not really put a lot of energy towards it", Hamilton said. The team, the organization, all the way through to the bosses.

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"He essentially has to start with out-qualifying Lewis which I know he has done a pretty solid job in that area, but not only once he does that he needs to consistently out-race him, which I think Lewis more often than not in wheel-to-wheel action he has been one of the stronger guys in that area". It's not something that's come overnight. "And it takes time to build those things".

"Would it be the same without Toto? That's why I'm with the team", he said. But he's got to do what's right for him.

"Every year it's a blank slate - every season I use the number 44 on my vehicle, I never use The number one as I feel like every season number one is there up for grabs for everyone". "I love where I am, I love the people that I work with, so it's really hard to walk away from something that you love as much as I do. To change is also sometimes a good thing".

Wolff added: "The two of us have been together for quite a while and we trust each other". "Where we see the team going, and Lewis's career going. And then from there onwards we'll see what happens". I don't think so. When things came out in the press it was weeks or months that we knew about each other and what our thinking was.

In a year in which motor sport lost the likes of Charlie Whiting, Niki Lauda, Robin Herd, Anthoine Hubert, Jean-Paul Driot and Andrew Cowan, FIA president, Jran Todt said: "The FIA Prize Giving is an occasion of celebration, so it seems only fitting to include a permanent tribute to those who have given so much to the sport and to all".

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