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Formula 1 Italian GP

"Unfinished business" motivated Hamilton to extend Mercedes F1 deal

Lewis Hamilton had no doubts about extending his Mercedes Formula 1 deal to 2025, citing "unfinished business" behind his motive to stay with the team.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, Peter Bonnington, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes AMG, on the grid

Both Hamilton and George Russell were confirmed as staying with the Brackley squad for the next two years earlier on Thursday, as they seek to renew Mercedes' challenges for the title after the past season and a half has yielded just one win.

The extension to 2025 will keep Hamilton at the team for a 13th season, having joined Mercedes for 2013 and embarking on a tremendous run of success that yielded six titles between 2014 and 2020.

Explaining his decision to stay, Hamilton said that he was motivated to help the team return to the front of the F1 grid and that, despite questions over his future amid a comparatively lean period for Mercedes, those doubts had been quickly diffused by the efforts that Mercedes had been making to rebuild.

"You're all stuck with me for a little bit longer," Hamilton joked. "I couldn't be happier to be extending with this team. We've had such an incredible journey together. Mercedes have supported me since I was 13, a long trip and we still have unfinished business, so we are in this together.

"We've got a lot of work to do to get ourselves back to the front, but there's no place I would rather be."

Asked if there were any doubts, Hamilton responded: "No. I definitely wanted to continue.

"I mean, I think in life there's always up and downs, like last year was a difficult year. I'm pretty sure everyone was questioning whether they wanted to continue because it's tough at the top and it's such a tough sport.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"But that feeling quickly goes away and you put your mind and your energy into being the best you can be and dealing with the situations that you're faced with.

"I'm really proud of what we achieved last year to get through it. We started on the wrong foot this year, to have some really great results; we're second in the constructors' championship. The plan is to keep that and then close the gap to the guy ahead."

Hamilton explained that watching how the team was accelerating plans in its efforts to return to the front and the work unfolding in the Mercedes camp was another significant influence in his decision to stay.

He cited that the team's technical department leads were working together "better than ever" to plot its course over the next few seasons.

"It's what you see; it's not necessarily what someone says, it's the work that you're doing - it's the meetings we've been having with all the engineers," he explained.

"James Allison and the whole group back at the factory, the heads of all the departments coming together and talking and just really engaging better than ever before about where we are, the mistakes we've made, why we made those decisions, why we won't make them again, and where we're going.

"[It's] having that confidence in each other that we are the best at what we do, and when we come together and, given time, we will get to where we need to be."

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